Dual standards of European democracy with regard to Catalonia and Karabakh

Dual standards of European democracy with regard to Catalonia and Karabakh

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 3

By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:

European separatism, a terrible phenomenon corroding Europe, has received a new momentum, after the so-called referendum on independence of the Spanish region of Catalonia. The measures that were taken by the central government to prevent this referendum were unprecedented.

In the week preceding the voting, the central government sent two huge ferries to Catalonia, on board of which there were about 10,000 employees of the Civil Guard. Their main duty was to suppress riots and fight extremism.

A few weeks before this event, arrests all those who, in the central government’s opinion, had contributed to the development of separatism ideas in general and the referendum in particular began in Catalonia.

A few days before the event, the Spanish guardsmen eliminated more than half of 2,315 polling stations, withdrawing urns and ballots from there. Polling stations access to the electronic vote counting system was denied, after which this “referendum” was named by the media as the first Internet war. The Catalonia province itself was flooded with several thousand employees of the Spanish Civil Guard.

However, the Catalans were adamant in wanting to hold a “referendum”, which resulted in mass clashes with the guardsmen. Meanwhile, it is an important fact that the Spanish Civil Guard used rubber bullets and tear gas, batons against the protesters, as well as arrested hundreds of protesters. Doctors said that only in Barcelona about 1,000 people, suffered from the guardsmen’s actions, were treated on October 1.

Now, none of the European leaders even thought to condemn rather harsh actions of the authorities against the Catalans, who are promoting separatism right in the center of Europe.

If authorities of any non-European state acted as decisively as the government of Spain in a similar case, global media outlets would have started showing indignation over what was happening, hysterically accusing the state’s leader of dictatorship and all the mortal sins. However, in this case even the ardent activists from the Human Rights Watch were very sluggish, and quite late to condemn the actions of the Spanish Civil Guard.

The reason why European leaders preferred to silently support Madrid’s actions is quite obvious: next time, similar situation may happen in Germany, Italy, the UK and several other European countries, each of which has a source of separatism, constrained by the most severe methods.

Here we again witness ugly show of double standards of European democracies and biased European media outlets, which hypocritically call, for example, Nagorno-Karabakh, as “unrecognized disputed region of the South Caucasus” or portray Baku’s inclemency in absolutely legitimate actions in the territories occupied by Armenia.

May one say now that Baku was too soft to separatists in Azerbaijan and should have urged all the forces of the region to suppress this hotbed of separatism, which today is precedent for many small European nations?

May one hope that the EU, if faced with the threat of civil war in its territory, will react more strictly to Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan?

Unfortunately, no one knows this, since the double standards of the West have perfectly been working for several decades, allowing Western countries to maneuver among their own conscience, toughness toward their own separatists and friends from the Armenian lobby.


Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency’s Russian news service

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