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EU Defends Spain’s Right to Use ‘Proportionate’ Force

  • VP of the European Commission Timmermans comments on Catalonia
  • Timmermans says referendum wasn’t legal under Spain’s laws
Civil Guard officers clash with members of the public outside a polling station used for the banned referendum, in Sant Julia de Ramis, Spain, on Oct. 1.

Civil Guard officers clash with members of the public outside a polling station used for the banned referendum, in Sant Julia de Ramis, Spain, on Oct. 1.

Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg 318753531

A top European Union official backed member states’ use of force to uphold order, three days after an illegal independence referendum in Spain’s Catalan region led to a police crackdown on voters, including several hundred injuries.

“It is a duty for any government to uphold the rule of law, and this sometimes requires the proportionate use of force,” European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans told the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. “Respect for the rule of law is not optional; it’s fundamental.”