Irish MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan has this Tuesday criticised Estonia of having "forgotten" Catalonia during their presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2017. In a speech in the European Parliament during a debate reviewing the Estonian presidency, Flanagan told the country's prime minister, Jüri Ratas, that he is "very disappointed" with Tallinn's attitude since the 1st October independence referendum. "Something massive happened during your presidency and a nation did attempt to get free, Catalonia (...). They had a referendum but you made a very glib statement on it: 'Spain is a democratic state based on the rule of law'," he said, "Where was the rule of law when people were being beaten up at polling stations?"
Flanagan, a member of GUE-NGL in the European Parliament, noted that he, like the Estonians, comes from a "small country". "As someone who comes from a small country, you appreciate the fact that you're independent. In 1991, with great celebrations, and rightfully so, you celebrated your freedom from the Soviet Union and you've done very well since", said the Irish MEP to the Estonian prime minister.
"Is it the case that, having celebrated your own freedom (...), you have forgotten about others?" asked Flanagan. He added that "Ireland has done well with independence, you have done well with independence, why stop Catalonia doing the same? Why not let them have a voice? Why have their leaders exiled? Why not mention it here?"
Ratas didn't respond to the questions about Catalonia during his reply in the debate, but did briefly applaud Flanagan's speech, as can be seen in the video broadcast by the European Parliament.