The EU-Catalonia dialogue platform, comprised of MEPs who support a negotiated solution between Spain and Catalonia, say that prosecutors' application for a total of more than 177 years in prison for the pro-independence leaders "has destroyed any hope that the Socialist government might lead to any meaningful negotiation on the Catalan issue". In a statement, the MEPs denounce "the lack of political response by the Spanish authorities". They express "deep concern" over the high prison sentences prosecutors are seeking.
"If such sentences [are handed down], this could set a dangerous precedent in Spain and in turn, in the European Union," they warn. As such, they repeat their call for "the European Institutions to urgently reconsider what protecting, promoting and guaranteeing civil and political rights means to them".
The platform denounces the charges of rebellion as "false" and says that, indeed "they have also been refuted by the Belgian and German Courts" in their decision over the extradition warrants against president Carles Puigdemont and ministers in exile. "Catalan leaders have been accused of crimes they have not committed based on violence that has not existed", the statement says, referring to the definition of rebellion in Spanish law as a "violent, public uprising". It adds that "the fact that the press had access to the [indictment] document" before the defendents' lawyers is further "clear evidence of the many irregularities and [rights violations]" in the case.
The platform includes members of the European Parliament from different political groups. Among them are the Italian Barbara Spinelli, daughter of one of the EU's founding fathers, Tanja Fajon, vice-president of the Slovenian Social Democrats and Ivo Vajgl, former Slovenian foreign minister.