Today's arrests of members of the Catalan Committees for Defence of the Republic (CDR), and especially two of their members being accused of terrorism, have reached the European Commission. A number of journalists have asked the Commission's spokesperson, Margaritis Schinas, about Spain's National Audience court ordering the detention of two CDR members under accusations of rebellion and terrorism. As normal for the European institutions, however, Schinas avoided commenting.
The series of questions on Catalonia was started by a correspondent from ACN (Catalan News Agency), who asked whether the Commission believes the accusations of rebellion and terrorism are "proportionate". Schinas, however, declined to comment, saying he was unaware of developments and that they are "in any case" ongoing legal proceedings in which they have "no competence or role to play", and that therefore they have no comment.
Other journalists in the room, however, insisted on the issue and asked four times what the Commission thinks of the CDRs being accused of terrorism. The responses, however, all left them unsatisfied: "the Commission can have an opinion on many issues but we are allowed to express ourselves only on areas where the European Union has competence".
In the end one Italian journalist criticised the spokesperson, saying that, for example, they ask Turkey "to not use the accusation of terrorism for things which have nothing to do with terrorism" but that for "similar" events in Spain the Commission refuses to comment, "it has no opinion, it has no competence". Once again, however, Schinas had the same response: "I cannot offer anything additional. If you are asking me to evaluate the Spanish judicial system, I am very happy to say that the last time we checked Spain is a democracy".