The European Union’s Brexit negotiator has accused Catalonia’s independence referendum of being fixed, in a speech declaring the region’s future lies embedded in a “multicultural, federal Europe”.
Declaring in the European Parliament on Wednesday that the referendum “lacked democratic legitimacy”, Guy Verhofstadt warned Catalans it is “not in [their] interest to pursue separatism at all costs”.
“You know very well in advance the majority of people would not participate, stay at home, as the majority do not believe in independence, and it is not by accident you did not install a minimum threshold.
“The result was already known before it begun. How do you call this? Manipulation, deception.
“Moreover though to declare independence based on a defective referendum is totally irresponsible,” he thundered, condemning the vote as having been a gamble that could only benefit Eurosceptics.
Farage Slams ‘Antidemocratic’ EU Silence over Brutalised Catalan Voters
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 3, 2017
The former Belgian prime minister called for Catalan authorities and the Spanish government to open talks to defuse the unrest in Catalonia, after more than 800 people were injured on Sunday after military and police sent by Spain violently suppressed the vote.
“I think now Spanish democracy has to surmount itself again, to surmount this deep division, to overcome this crisis,” he proclaimed. “What we need is a new political vision, inclusive dialogue.
“A vision that the future and our people living in Spain lies in a multicultural, multilingual federal state embedded in a multicultural, multilingual federal Europe.”
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) October 4, 2017
The leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) in European Parliament last month branded Donald Trump a “white supremacist”, in remarks following the annual State of the European Union address, in which he also alleged that conservative Poland and Hungary are ruled by “alt-right governments”.
And Verhofstadt launched an attack on Breitbart News last year, when he made a speech decrying the U.S. President and Brexit leader Nigel Farage as “clowns” whose goals are “bashing and destroying … European liberal democracy”.