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Readers Blog: EU showing cowardice in Catalonia controversy

I have friends in Barcelona, and when we go there, a must-see with them is the traditional dances and music outside of the parliament building on the square.

This expression of nationality was banned during the Franco dictatorship, as was the speaking of the Catalan language.

Catalonia remains a peaceful country and has stood by such a culture, while keenly aware that they are recognised as separate from Spain.

As the Spanish authorities in Madrid accuse the Catalan government of rebellion, issuing an international arrest warrant for former president Carles Puigdemont (who has now turned himself in in Belgium), we are reminded of history repeating itself.

In 1940, the Gestapo arrested the then president of Catalonia in exile, Lluis Companys, in France, and handed him over to Franco’s Madrid, whom he stood in opposition to. He was thrown into prison, starved, and tortured for five weeks, before having a one-hour trial for rebellion and was then executed.

Those who now criticise Puigdemont and his cabinet for a peaceful declaration of independence for Catalonia, would do well to remember where the government in Madrid get their inspiration from — Puigdemont and his government, as the leaders of the Catalan people, so by removing them, Madrid in effect feels it will also subjugate the whole of the Catalan people, once again.

Where is the EU in all this, apart from showing cowardice in the face of democratic wishes through the ballot box, being rejected?

Robert Sullivan, Bantry, Co Cork



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