‘I’m Catalan and in prison’: Twitter erupts after EU bigwig Verhofstadt’s ‘I am European’ mantra
“I am from Gent, I am Flemish, I live in Belgium and I am European,” he says in a video he uploaded to Twitter. “There is no contradictions at all! There is no war of identities in Europe!”
Verhofstadt, a key Brexit negotiator in the European Parliament and an over-the-top EU supporter, wrote that Europeans should feel free to choose multiple identities and “be proud of all of them.”
In a matter of minutes, the Twitterati began dismantling the idyllic world portrayed by Verhofstadt. While some acknowledged they were proud to be European, others, including Catalans, pounded the EU boss for the bold statement he was trying to make.
“I’m Catalonian, I want independence for my country of Catalonia, I’m in prison because of my views, you don’t give a s**t,” one wrote.
I am catalan, my mother tongue is catalan, I am democrat and republican and in Spain I am an pariah. I can be hit, insulted, accused, put in jail without trial. Of course with the complicity of ALDE and Verhofstadt— Tess (@Teresaka3) January 28, 2019
“1066 persons beaten for their identity. Freedom for Catalonia!” one user wrote, attaching what appears to be images of a pro-independent Catalan protest being dispersed by Spanish police.
Adding insult to injury, others seemingly vented their anger at the EU bureaucracy, accusing it of hijacking the true European idea.
“I am English. I am British and I am proud. What you don’t understand Guy is that people like me love Europe, Europeans, their culture & their food. We just hate the dying, corrupt, protection racket EU. Got it?” a netizen commented.
I am English. I am British and I am proud.What you don’t understand Guy is that people like me love Europe, Europeans, their culture & their food. We just hate the dying, corrupt, protection racket EU. Got it?— Bristolterrier (@Waiwera1942) January 28, 2019
Stop claiming EU has the right over being European, lots of people are European but may still be against the EU. This full scale capturing of the phrase and an either youre with us or against us approach is too close to the ghosts of recent history.— Paul Corrigan (@CorriganPaul) January 28, 2019
There were some who said the very idea of identity was utter nonsense.
I am a translator, a woman, an amateur photographer, a PhD candidate at UCL. I refuse to be labelled by nationalities.— Valeria Reggi (@ReggiValeria) January 28, 2019
EU-bashers were also there to make their point.
Guy has received a lot from Europe. Even his villa, including vineyard.— Wim Van Wesemael (@WimVanWesemael) January 28, 2019
No wonder he likes it so much
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