Ever since the independence referendum held on October 1 – which was disrupted by baton-wielding Guardia Civil and national police who also fired rubber bullets into the crowds of people attempting to vote – a growing number of people have hit out at the EU’s top apparatchiks.
The likes of the European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, have fully backed Spain saying it was merely an internal matter and they could not get involved.
Rainer Bonhorst, the former London and Washington correspondent for Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, has now blasted the EU for its “massive lack of democracy”.
Writing for achgut.com, Mr Bonhorst wrote: “The EU itself suffers from a massive lack of democracy, there is a certain logic that the Spaniards are inside the European Union and the British will soon be out.”
Carles Puigdemont (L) and Jean-Claude Juncker
He said: “The Catalan rioters end up in jail and their boss, who has fled to Belgium, is being sought with a European arrest warrant. Is that the Europe of today?
“That we put politically defiant people in jail for years?”
Mr Bonhorst also argued that the EU needed “seasoned democrats” such as Britain in the bloc and it should be Spain that should be leaving.
He said: “The Spanish should voluntarily leave the European Union and the British should stop their nonsense with Brexit and simply stay.
The EU itself suffers from a massive lack of democracy
“Therefore: Spexit instead of Brexit. The EU needs seasoned Democrats. Europe can do without buffaloes that rush towards each other with lowered heads.”
Mr Bonhorst is among a growing band of critics who have attacked what they perceive as the complete lack of democracy within the EU institutions.
Dr Mark Wolfram, writing in the Financial Times recently, said that the European leaders were still “haunted” by events in Yugoslavia and “the role they played in its destruction”.
He wrote: “The European project was founded on trying to overcome the violent competition among its various national communities. European elites always blamed the Yugoslav crisis on the lack of democracy, but Spain demonstrates again that even a reasonably functioning democracy is no protection against secessionist passions.”
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has given his backing to Spain
The ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has also taken a veiled swipe at the EU leaders.
Writing in today’s Guardian, Mr Puigdemont wrote: “Catalonia is right now the only territory in the European Union that has been denied the supreme law its citizens voted for; the parliament that its citizens elected; the president that this parliament elected; and the government that this president appointed in the exercise of his powers.”
Assumpció Lailla, a former politician with Catalonia’s Democrats party, was less diplomatic, saying after the arrest and detention of a number Mr Puigdemont’s ministers.
She said: “This is an unjust situation in which they are being investigated for facilitating democracy.
Ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is currently in Belgium
“I don’t understand how Europe can look away from democracy.”
The EU has also come under fire from Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova who posted on her Facebook page: “Is this the Europe that wants to talk to us about the Crimea referendum and upholding rights?”
And political commentator Alexey Martinov, who monitored the Catalan independence vote, said it was a “paradox” EU officials had criticised former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for using “the same brutal methods” Spanish police used against voters in Catalonia.
He told Russian news agency Interfax: ”If they told Yanukovych four years ago that he could use the same methods that are being used in Barcelona, that such methods are ‘European’, I believe that there would be none of the horrible events that later took place in Ukraine.”