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The Ciudadanos’ (C’s) leader in the European Parliament, Maite Pagazaurtundua, has written to Europol requesting that an investigation be conducted “on the risks of a possibly violent radicalisation of extremist ethnonationalists groups” in the Spanish state, specifically referring to Catalonia and the Basque Country.

In her message, to which this newspaper has had access, Pagazaurtundua, -who is also vice-president of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament- focuses on the Basque Country, and points to the "creation and dissemination of hate and hostile speeches derived from political intolerance" which have persisted in the Basque Country and Navarra for decades.

As an example, the Basque unionist leader points out that during the third wave of Covid-19, "the radical ultra-leftists of the Basque Country encouraged urban violence" with the excuse, she says, of protesting against the restrictions. However, the true reason for the violence, according to Pagazaurtundua, was the "promotion of ideological rejection through hatred aimed at the police forces, for being the representatives of the legitimate power of the democratic state".

Leniency and political justification

In the letter it is said that these allegedly violent radical groups act under "a certain political leniency and justification" and directly accuses Bildu and Podemos of being responsible. To reinforce this accusation, Pagazaurtundua recalls that the police unions have complained about it.

Pagazaurtundua also denounces how attacks on the police through social media are aimed at dehumanising its members. "The trivialisation and dehumanisation are also necessary tools for the construction of the image of the enemy and, in the past, they have been used in the Basque Country to facilitate attacks against the regional police, the local police, the National Police and the Civil Guard. After an Ertzaintza (Basque police) police officer died when his vehicle fell into the Urumea river in Donostia, a graffiti painted on the spot read: 'The best leap of the year'", she explains as an example.

The leader of C’s in the European Parliament believes that "there are hate speeches and practices" and also that "there are political forces that prefer to condone as normal hate and intolerance based on anti-democratic ideological motivations. For this reason, she calls on the international police agency to consider "sending a fact-finding mission to investigate the situation on the spot".


“Ideological hatred against members of the security forces is shared by other anti-establishment groups elsewhere in Spain, particularly in Catalonia, but it is a rather more global trend (ACAB -All Cops Are Bastards- and others)” she concludes, referring to the protests against Pablo Hasél´s imprisonment which led to very serious breaches of the peace and rioting in Barcelona and other main Spanish cities.