‘Today we are all Catalans’: Flanders supports Catalonia’s bid for independence

Thursday, September 28, 2017
By Paul Martin

28 Sep, 2017

Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium, has expressed solidarity with Catalans fighting for their right to hold an independence referendum, saying that Madrid and the EU should “comply with the results.”

“Today we are all Catalans,” said the Speaker of the Flemish Parliament Jan Peumans, addressing the president of Catalan regional parliament Carme Forcadell in Flanders on Wednesday, Belga news agency reported.

On Tuesday, Peumans said that central government in Madrid should treat “legitimate aspirations of Catalonia in a democratic way” and “to listen to the voice of the people.”

“When the results of the [upcoming Catalan] referendum are released, everyone will have to comply, including the European Union,” stated Peumans who is a member of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) nationalist party. The party campaigns for the peaceful secession of Flanders from Belgium.

Tensions are running high between Madrid and Catalonia after the region’s Parliament passed a bill earlier in September paving the way for an independence referendum to be held on October 1. The Spanish government considers the referendum illegal.

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