Former first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, has made a strong call this Tuesday for people to speak out about the Spanish state's repression of the Catalan independence process. Salmond's issued the call in a video published by the Scottish newspaper The National.
In the video, Salmond accuses most of the EU of maintaining a "guilty silence" in relation to the Spanish police violence during the Catalan independence referendum of 1st October last year and believes that the Scottish parliament, as well as Scots themselves, need to make their voices heard about the situation in Catalonia.
"If more people had spoken out across liberal and democratic Europe last October, we wouldn’t be in this position in March", says Salmond.
We should ALL be speaking out against Spain's treatment of Catalonia. The situation would be different if more already had. pic.twitter.com/VlrokNhbzA— The National (@ScotNational) 27 of marzo of 2018
The former Scottish leader has recorded this video at a moment when Scottish public opinion is following the Catalonia issue closely, after the recent return of former Catalan government minister Clara Ponsatí to her academic post in the country and last week's activation of European arrest warrants for Ponsatí and the rest of the Catalan leaders in exile, by the Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena.
Salmond also explains that he met Ponsatí in a visit to Brussels last November, where he interviewed Carles Puigdemont. He mentions that the university where the Catalan teaches, St Andrews, is his alma mater, and jokes encouragingly that in response to the arrest warrant issued for Ponsatí, the university has now made "probably its most political statement since the Reformation" in her defence. However, he adds, people in general, in Scotland and across Europe, should "speak out, loud and clear" against the Catalonia situation.
The use being made of European arrest warrants, says Salmond, is "illicit" and "disgraceful" - they are, he says, being used as a way "to silence political opponents". "Obviously, nobody is claiming that you can direct a judicial process", says the Scottish leader, but he adds that this is no excuse to justify remaining silent in the face of the evolving events.