Commmenting on the debate in the European Parliament on the situation in Catalonia following the police violence at last Sunday's independence referendum, EFA MEP Jordi Solé (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya) said:
"The debate and the response of Mr Timmerman's to the situation in Catalonia, and in particular of the terrible state repression that we've seen, was hugely disappointing.
"Catalans are European citizens and we deserve to have our fundamental rights protected and defended by the European Commission
"Across Catalonia at the weekend, hundreds of peaceful citizens suffered appalling brutality at the hands of the Spanish regime for the crime of simply wanting to vote and decide their own future.
"Many passionate Europeans, both inside and outside Catalonia, are now asking themselves whether the European Commission exists to defend the interests of European citizens or of the big member states?
"If the EU fails to intervene and provide the mediation necessary between Catalonia and Spain, then my concern is that Spain will simply feel emboldened and even encouraged to engage in even more brutal repression against Catalans.
"There is a window of opportunity but it will not be there for much longer. The EU must act now, to defend the fundamental rights of Catalans, and to salvage its own reputation before it's too late."