EP president calls for inquiry into manipulation of Juncker’s statement on Catalan independence
Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament (EP), has called for an investigation into the handling of a statement made by the president of the European commission, Jean Claude Juncker, on the possibility of Catalonia’s independence from Spain.
Schulz has sent a letter to MEP Ramon Tremosa, of Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya, voicing his concern about the incident, which occurred a few days before the 27 September elections in Catalonia. In the Spanish translation of Juncker’s statement, an extra paragraph not present in the original English version was added, expressing opposition to Catalonia’s secession from Spain. The EU commission is investigating the matter. In his letter to Tremosa, Schulz says he takes the scandal of the two versions of the EU commission’s statement “very seriously”.
‘I share your concern’, Schulz adds, ‘particularly given it [the statement] came during the run-up to the regional elections in Catalonia on 27 September’.
The president of the EU parliament said he is waiting for the conclusions of the commission’s probe into the incident. The commission thus far is arguing that it was an administrative error.
Here’s an account of the facts
The euro deputy for the Popular Party Santiago Fisas sent a written question to the European Commission on the independence of Catalonia on 21 July, asking whether the Commission would recognise an independent Catalan state created by a declaration that would not respect the Spanish constitution, and which ‘aims to break Spain’s territorial integrity and would not be recognised by the Spanish government’. The reply from the Commission, signed by the president Jean Claude Juncker, arrived the day before yesterday, but with different texts in the English version and the Spanish version.
The text in English simply says that the European Commission cannot give an opinion on questions of the internal organisation of member states. However, the Spanish text includes a paragraph in which there is a pronouncement against the independence of Catalonia. The assistants to the CDC euro deputy Ramon Tremosa, Aleix Sarri and Marga Payola, reported the letter on Twitter, and said that someone had manipulated the official replies of the Commission.