Wednesday, October 21, 2009

European Commission says it is Spain that must act against the Falange

Tremosa, Junqueras and Romeva and German and Italian MEPs* asked that the executive commission prohibit fascist imagery

The European Commission says it cannot illegalize the Falange nor prohibit demonstrations nor its fascist imagery, as it points out that individual states do have the power to do so. Ramon Tremosa, Oriol Junqueras i Raül Romeva asked and German and Italian MEPs complained that Spanish institutions allowed the Falange to demonstrate in Arenys de Munt and also asked that the exhibition of these images be prohibited.

The European Commission has not yet answered the MEPs - actually it has six weeks to do so, until November 3rd—but sources close to the Vice President and to the Commissioner of Justice, Liberty and Security, Jacques Barrot, reminded ACN that the "Charter of Fundamental Rights establishes that the European Union is founded on the indivisible and universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and the state of law". Brussels assures that "the Treaty of the European Union and of the membre communities, the European agreement for the protection of human rights and of fundamental liberties, the social charters adopted by the Union and by the Council of Europe, along with the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the EC and of the European Court for Human Rights guarantee these values and principals.

But a spokesperson for Barrot said that the Commission does not have the power to prohibit the exhibition of fascist images and might have to respond to the European Parliament that "the power to act on the legality of parties or demonstrations lies in the hands of the member states". In their parliamentary question, presented on September 22, Tremosa, Junqueras and Romeva denounced the Falange for demonstrating in Arenys de Munt "exhibiting all sorts of fascist symbols, including flags, and singing the official hymn of the Franquist regime, 'Cara al sol'". "La Falange is the direct heir of the single party of the Franquist regime that provoked hundreds of thousands of deaths, disappearances, exiles, and political prisoners between 1936 and 1975 and currently defends the return of a national-syndicalist totalitarian state by way of violence" warned the representatives of CiU, ERC and ICV.

Originally published in VilaWeb on 21 October 2009, at 10:59h

Translation Notes

MEPs = Members of the European Parliament

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