December 10, 2018
Latest News

Spats, alleged spitting, expulsion in Spain's parliament as debate boils over

Madrid, Nov 21 (efe-epa).- A pro-Catalan independence lawmaker was ejected from the Spanish parliament Wednesday for causing a ruckus and breaching parliamentary norms during a heated debate with the foreign minister who complained of having been spat at.

Gabriel Rufian, an outspoken member of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) in the lower chamber triggered the fracas by calling Spain's top diplomat and fellow Catalan Josep Borrell a fascist and demanding he step down after describing him as the most undignified minister in the history of Spanish democracy.

"Once again he has dumped on this chamber that mixture of sawdust and manure which is the only thing he is capable of producing," Borrell, a member of the Socialist Party government, retorted to applause in the Madrid-based chamber.

Rufian then got to his feet to sarcastically applaud the foreign minister and was called to order by the parliamentary speaker, Ana Pastor.

Pastor repeatedly requested that the 36-year-old lawmaker return to his seat and warned if he was called to order three times he would be asked to leave the chamber as per parliamentary rules.

Rufian gestured to the chamber with his arms outstretched before sitting down with his colleagues, from where he continued to verbally interrupt proceedings.

Pastor called for order twice more before sternly ejecting the Catalan lawmaker from the chamber.

All nine members of the ERC in Congress left the chamber but the drama took another turn when one of the departing members allegedly spat at Borrell as he neared the exit.

Borrell immediately gestured toward the supposed culprit and later spoke to reporters about the incident.

"I'm not going to go into detail about the spitting, he turned and spat at me," he said following the controversial session, although he fell short of naming the alleged offender.

Footage from Congress showed Borrell pointing towards Jordi Salvador when the alleged incident occurred.

Speaking to EFE, Salvador denied spitting at Borrell but acknowledged he had made a sound with his lips on his way out of the chamber.

Parliament said it would examine the allegations and did not rule out possible sanctions against the lawmaker.

The heated exchange began when Rufian took exception to the use of the word "golpista" ("coup backer"), which is commonly used as a pejorative term by unionist political parties, such as the center-right Ciudadanos, against regional pro-independence from Catalonia, especially in the wake of the abortive separatist referendum and its subsequent unilateral declaration of independence in Oct. 2017.

Both were annulled by Spain's judiciary and several influential Catalan figures, including the former regional president, Carles Puigdemont, and his vice-president, Oriol Junqueras of the ERC, were either in exile or in prison facing charges of rebellion.

"Mr. Borrell, if you came to the plenary sessions, you would know what we are talking about. Every time the Ciudadanos parliamentary group call us coup backers, I remind them of the bullet holes in this ceiling," Rufian said, in reference to damage left in the wake of an attempted coup led by members of the Civil Guard in 1981 as Spain made its transition from dictatorship under Francisco Franco to democracy.

"And I will call them fascists," he said. "That said, the truth is for some time I have wanted to tell you this: you are the most undignified minister in Spanish democratic history, you are not a minister, you are a hooligan, a militant from the Sociedad Civil Catalana, a shame on your parliamentary group because it is a far-right organization."

Spain's mainstream political parties have unanimously condemned Rufian's behavior.

News history
Spanish PM in Marrakesh summit to sign UN migration pact

Marrakesh (Morocco), Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The Spanish prime minister arrived in Morocco Monday to attend a United Nation's summit where he is scheduled to...

Italian police evict squatters from abandoned Rome factory

Rome, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- Italian police evicted dozens of people living at an abandoned penicillin factory in the capital Rome on Monday in an operation...

New Religion Regulations released by The State Council China's cabinet

Beijing, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- At least 80 people were detained in a police operation against members of a prominent Protestant church in the city of Chengdu...

Manila protesters burn effigy of President Duterte in Human Rights Day rally

Manila, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- Over 1,000 protesters marched in the Philippines capital Manila on Monday and burned an effigy of the country's president on...

Election campaigns begin in Bangladesh amid opposition claims of arrests

Dhaka, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- Election campaigning in Bangladesh began Monday amid reports of arrests of hundreds of leaders and members of the main opposition...

EU top court rules UK can unilaterally stop Brexit process

Brussels, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom can unilaterally cancel its withdrawal from the European Union, the European Court of Justice has ruled on...

Myanmar court to hear Reuters reporters' appeal this month

Yangon, Myanmar, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- A Myanmar court will hear later this month the appeal of two Reuters reporters jailed on charges of violating the...

Ghosn, Nissan formally charged in financial misconduct case

Tokyo, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- Tokyo prosecutors indicted the former chairman of Nissan Motor on Monday for under-reporting his earnings over five years leading...

Socialists win municipal elections in Venezuela amid low turnout

Caracas, Dec 9 (EFE).- Venezuela's ruling Socialists had a comfortable victory in the municipal elections on Sunday, retaining control of more than 90...

Armenian prime minister's alliance wins snap parliamentary election

Yerevan, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- Armenia's My Step Alliance led by acting prime minister Nikol Pashinyan won the country's snap parliamentary election held on...

China summons US ambassador over arrest of Huawei executive

Beijing, Dec. 10 (efe-epa).- China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs summoned US Ambassador in China Terry Branstad on Sunday night to present a formal...

South Korean bullet train service resumes operation after derailment

Seoul, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The South Korean high-speed train service resumed normal operation on Monday after a weekend derailment left 16 people injured.

Yellow vests protest in Paris

Paris, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The French President prepared the ground on Sunday to put himself in the front line of battle in the protest crisis of the "yellow...

Haitian police dissolves anti-corruption march, arrests several people

Port-au-Prince, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- Haitian police on Sunday dispersed a demonstration against corruption and impunity organized by the political opposition...

Exit polls: Political/judicial reform referendum wins in Peru

Lima, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- Polling places closed in Peru's referendum on political and judicial reform at 4 pm on Sunday, with many voters also casting their...

Venezuela holds local elections

Caracas, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- Venezuela is holding local elections on Sunday, with 2,459 municipal council seats up for grabs on a day marked by the...

Trump accuses Comey of lying in testimony to Congress

Washington, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Sunday accused former FBI Director James Comey of lying during his testimony before a congressional...

Israel clears Qasr al Yahud baptism site of mines

Qasr al Yahud, West Bank, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- Israel on Sunday announced that it has demolished the mines around the churches at Qasr al Yahud - the...

Pink Floyd tribute band cancels shows in Israel at behest of Roger Waters

Jerusalem, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- A British tribute band honoring the legendary progressive rock band Pink Floyd has canceled three shows it was scheduled to...

Nobel Peace laureates call for action to stop sexual violence in wars

Oslo, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege and Iraqi activist Nadia Murad, co-recipients of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, gave a press...

Average turnout in Armenia's snap elections after parliament dissolved

Yerevan, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- Voter turnout at the start of Armenia's snap parliamentary elections following the legislature's dissolution last month has been...

Belgian PM reshuffles cabinet after Flemish coalition partner withdraws

Brussels, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- The prime minister of Belgium on Sunday reorganized his cabinet by replacing the members of a nationalist Flemish party that has...

3 Kashmiri militants killed in gunfight with Indian forces outside Srinagar

Srinagar (India), Dec 9 (efe-epa).- At least three Kashmiri Muslim militants were killed on Sunday following a protracted exchange of gunfire with Indian...

China summons Canadian ambassador over Huawei CFO arrest

Beijing, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- China has warned of serious consequences if Canada does not release Huawei's chief financial officer, who was arrested last week...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.