Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Thursday, May 23, 2019 03:59:19 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Europe wary but muted ahead of Catalonia`s independence vote

photo by

Thousands cheer and wave esteleda, or Catalonia independence flags, during the \'Yes\' vote closing campaign in Barcelona, Spain on Friday.

By
01st-Oct-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

AP, Brussels  :
Across Europe, people are watching the independence referendum Spain's Catalonia region plans to hold Sunday closely and nervously, but quietly.
A strong turnout that results in a majority vote for the "yes" side could embolden other breakaway-minded regions. A secession trend on the continent would put new strains on the European Union and carry the potential for unleashing violence.
Yet most European leaders have shied away from taking a public stand on the upcoming referendum.
Despite tensions behind the scenes, they're reluctant to back either the Catalan separatists who are bucking Spanish law to conduct the balloting or Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's heavy-handed efforts to block the vote.
Here's a look at how other European countries - and Venezuela's outspoken leader - view the situation in Catalonia:
While the vote hasn't inspired mass public rallies or viral social media campaigns outside of Spain, it did prompt small demonstrations in Scotland, where many dream of obtaining independence from the U.K.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has shown clear, if muted, support for the Catalonia vote.
Sturgeon, who leads the Scottish National Party, called it "entirely legitimate for Spain to oppose independence for Catalonia," but told lawmakers last week: "The right to self-determination is an important international principle, and I hope very much it will be respected in Catalonia, and everywhere else."
Secession-leaning figures in Belgium's Flanders region see hope in Sunday's vote and sympathize with prosperous Catalonia's complaints that it subsidizes poorer regions of Spain.
"I think there is already a dynamic (toward independence around Europe). You only have to look at Scotland. It's an evolution that no European government can avoid," Jan Peumans, speaker of Belgium's Flanders regional parliament, said.
Italy's far-right Northern League, which has spearheaded referendums for more autonomy in northern Lombardy and Veneto, spoke out against the recent arrests of Catalan leaders ordered by Spain's government.
Catalonia's independence movement also received unexpected backing from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who recently won a referendum that consolidated his powers and has been criticized by the Rajoy government in Spain.
The silence from the European Union over developments in largely pro-European Catalonia has been especially conspicuous since Catalan officials appealed to the bloc to mediate the dispute.
In response to the region's requests for intervention, the European Commission - the EU's executive arm - repeated that the referendum was an internal Spanish affair and that it respected Spain's constitutional order.
EU officials refused to engage even as concerns mounted Friday about post-vote violence. "We will, as everybody else, be watching events unfolding," commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein said.
Privately, officials are slightly more forthcoming about their fears.
"We are following the whole process with great, great concern," a senior EU official said last week. The official briefed reporters on condition that she not be named.
Denmark has been non-committal. The Faroe Islands and Greenland - two Danish semi-autonomous territories - have floated the idea of breaking away.
The Faroes plan to hold a referendum on a new constitution in April.
Russia has largely ignored Catalonia's vote. While some have used the vote to point out Europe's weaknesses, Moscow is not disposed to alienate Rajoy's government since Spain has been one of the friendliest countries toward Russia since it annexed Crimea.

Even Serbia, still smarting from the 2008 secession of Kosovo, hasn't explicitly backed the Spanish government - even though Spain is one of the five EU states that doesn't recognize Kosovo's independence.
TREADING CAREFULLY WITH RAJOY
Rajoy has alienated potential political supporters by sending in police to block the vote. No other European leader has come out definitively against the referendum, a likely disappointment to the Spanish leader.
His clearest backing came from French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country has faced low-level breakaway sentiment from Corsica and Basque Country in the southwest.
"I know a partner and a friend, which is Spain, Spain as a whole. I have an interlocutor and he is here by my side and his name is Mariano Rajoy. The rest does not concern me," Macron was quoted in French media as saying at a June meeting with Rajoy.
Others are treading more carefully.
At an EU summit in Estonia on Friday, Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite was her usual forthright but succinct self when asked about the situation in Spain: "Not easy. Sensitive. But we wish Spain to stay strong."
Powerful Germany is playing it safe.
"We have a great interest in Spain's stability being maintained," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin.
Even one of Rajoy's closest EU allies, European Parliament president Antonio Tajani, has refused to explicitly back him and instead called for more dialogue - suggesting Rajoy hasn't done enough to find a solution.
"I think it's important to talk on a political level after Monday and to respect laws - Catalan laws and Spanish laws," Tajani told reporters Friday.
He said he hoped there would be no violence Sunday. "The rules of politics can't be with violence," he said.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

BB failing to lead banking sector


WHEN there are huge frustrations among the political circle, civil society members and the ordinary masses over ongoing banking irregularities, at that time the High Court has halted the loan rescheduling facilities for defaulters till June 23, earlier offered by the central bank, the Bangladesh Bank. The HC on Tuesday ...

Sports »

With the world at her feet, Osaka takes Paris in her stride


AFP, Paris :Twelve months ago at Roland Garros, an embarrassed Naomi Osaka bristled at being hailed as the 'coolest thing' in tennis.Now, however, the 21-year-old Japanese returns to Paris as comfortably the sport's hottest ticket with the world number one billing, a bank balance bursting at the seams and on ...

International »

Top officials say US doesn't want war with Iran


AP, Washington :Top Trump administration officials have told Congress that recent actions by the U.S. have deterred Iranian attacks on American forces. But some lawmakers remain deeply skeptical of the White House approach in the Middle East.After Tuesday's closed-door briefings on Capitol Hill, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting ...

Entertainment »

Samantha Akkineni’s Oh Baby first look unveiled


The first look of Samantha Akkineni’s upcoming film Oh Baby is unveiled on a special occasion. Suresh Productions, one of the reputed banners of the Telugu Film Industry, which was established by late producer Rama Naidu, has completed 55 years in the industry. On the occasion of this big day, ...

Editorial »

Why youths taking life risk to get a job in foreign lands?


STATE Minister for Foreign Affairs yesterday said the government has taken zero tolerance policy against illegal migration. "Our government will not tolerate any illegal practices in migration. Even a single case of harassment and a life lost is important... one success story of reaching Europe illegally cannot be an example ...

City »

Bangladesh Sammilita Peshajibi Parishad formed a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday demanding release and proper treatment of BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia.


Football »

Japan's Honda quits Melbourne Victory after one season


AFP, Melbourne :Japanese superstar Keisuke Honda Tuesday announced he will leave Melbourne Victory this week after one season as he pursues new challenges.The former AC Milan striker, one of the highest profile names in Asian football, was an instant hit with fans, with his early season form drawing rave reviews.However, ...

International »

India's Congress urges workers to ignore ominous exit polls, be vigilant


Reuters, New Delhi :India's main opposition Congress party has told its workers not to lose heart and to remain vigilant at vote-count centers after exit polls predicted a clear election victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The counting of votes cast in the seven-phase general election will take place on Thursday, ...

National »

EED implements Tk 2259.12 cr uplift schemes in Rajshahi divn


BSS, Rajshahi :Education Engineering Department (EED) has implemented 5403 schemes involving around Tk 2259.12 crore in over last ten years in all eight districts under Rajshahi division.Implementation works of 503 other schemes are progressing with an estimated cost of around Tk 210.45 crore. Mijanur Rahman Engineer of EED, here said ...

Business & Economy »

Gazi Yar Mohammed, Agent Banking Head of ONE Bank Limited and Meskat Hossain Rakib, Director of Piickme Limited, exchanging an agreement signing document at the corporate office of the Bank in the city recently. Under the deal, OK Wallet customers will be able to make ride sharing payment and enjoy cash back and attractive prizes.


Entertainment »

Sonam Kapoor's first look from Cannes 2019


Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor took time out for a brand photoshoot on her day two of Cannes 2019. The actor shared photos from the French Riviera on her social media accounts. Her sister Rhea Kapoor too shared photos as the Bollywood diva got ready for the photoshoot of a perfume ...

Entertainment »

It is holiday time for Sreelekha


Sreelekha Mitra is on a summer break. The actress, who was busy dubbing for films, has finally wrapped up her work and is chilling at her place right now. "Gorome ami dysfunctional hoye jai," she told us, adding, "I just finished dubbing Anik Dutta's Barunbabur Bandhu. While the film mainly ...

Editorial »

Save farmers, buy rice directly from them


DESPITE prevailing agony and dissatisfaction among the farmers across the country over the low price of paddy than their cost, the government has no plan to compensate or complying farmers' demand to procure directly instead of mediators - the millers. In the last couple of days we see farmers are ...

Football »

Mbappe wants responsibility, 'maybe at PSG, maybe elsewhere'


AFP, Paris :Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe fuelled speculation surrounding his future on Sunday, saying that he wants "responsibilities, maybe at PSG, maybe elsewhere".The 20-year-old backed up his excellent 2018 World Cup, where he scored four times as France won the trophy, by netting 38 times for PSG this season.He ...

International »

Russia air strikes kill 10 civilians in northwest Syria


AFP, Syria :Clashes between regime forces and jihadists raged Monday on the edge of the region held by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, following the deadly air raids overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.The Idlib region controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is supposed to be protected from a government ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news