Josep Borrell continues to stir up controversy. On the same day it was announced that Spain’s CNMV [the National Securities Market Commission] have fined him €30,000 over the Abengoa [insider trading] case, and a week after clashing with MP Gabriel Rufián in Madrid’s Congress, Borrell made some controversial statements this Monday during an event at Madrid’s Complutense University. Borrell stated that the United States became independent after "killing a handful of Indians" (see video from 1 hour and 18 mins).
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, "[The U.S.] became independent virtually without any prior history. The only thing they did was to kill a handful of Indians, but apart from that, it was really easy...". He made the statement when discussing, "why the US has a higher level of political integration" than other countries which have "centrifugal trends and the problem that certain individuals don’t feel like they’re part of the community", like in Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Borrell also argued that Americans are more integrated because they "all share the same language".
Borrell’s views on the United States don’t end there, however. "When the States emerged and became united there was no antagonism, although a short time later they wanted to separate due to economic antagonism: slavery, yes or no". The minister concluded with the observation that, "now every American feels American, and they fly a flag in their garden. And if you use it as a handkerchief to blow your nose, there’ll be consequences! Don’t even think about it. If you do, you’re going to regret it", in a clear reference to the ongoing investigation into Spanish comedian Dani Mateo for having wiped his nose on a Spanish flag [as part of a tv skit].
Borrell supports the view that in Europe there should be a "national sentiment based on the concept of citizenship". Something he feels we should "actively strive for": For Borrell, "Identities don’t grow on trees, spontaneously, they’re a social construct. They’re built and made at school, at home, on TV, in newspapers ... identity is formed socially", adding that, "You’re born in China, I pick you up, take you to Madrid and turn you into a little Spaniard". You were born Chinese, but I've made you Spanish".
Borrell ended by saying that "something similar ought to happen in Europe, so there’s a narrative, a discourse that creates a sense of belonging". In his opinion, we should begin by making a "huge investment in education" as a means of achieving this goal.