Read in Catalan

The European Commission has chosen to look the other way in the face of complaints about the presence of far-right elements infiltrating the Spanish army and threatening to use violence and to intervene in politics. This is the implication of the remarkably brief response to the written question presented by Junts MEP Carles Puigdemont on the situation of the Spanish army and the measures taken by EU member states to purge the far right from their armed forces.

"The organization and management of the army are the responsibility of each Member State," was all that the Commission said.

Letters to the king

Puigdemont's question recalls that on December 2nd, 2020, it was reported that a group of retired officers from the Spanish army had sent a letter to king Felipe VI, which he did not disavow, in which they expressed their concern about relations between the Pedro Sánchez-led coalition government and Catalan pro-independence parties.

He also recalls that a military lieutenant colonel revealed that some of these officers speculated in a WhatsApp chat about the possibility of bombing the Catalan pro-independence ANC group or organizing a coup. "Since the end of the Spanish dictatorship, similar observations have been heard every few years," Puigdemont warns in writing.

Purge the far right

He also recalls that the German government disbanded a special forces unit due to its links with the far right, which "constitutes an exemplary measure for the Union."

In the parliamentary initiative, Puigdemont asks the Commission whether it is aware of these facts, how it assesses the measures taken by Member States to purge far-right elements of their armies and whether it will propose guidelines in this regard to Member States, taking into account that the interest in greater integration in defence matters.

However, the question received a one-and-a-half-line reply from the Commissioner for Home Affairs, the Swede Ylva Johansson (Socialists), on behalf of the European Commission, simply making it clear that the management of the army is a matter for each state.