The â€œshocking eventsâ€ in Washington â€œmust be a wake-up callâ€ for democracy advocates around the world, the EUâ€™s top diplomat Josep Borrell said Sunday in response to the deadly siege of the Capitol building.
â€œWednesdayâ€™s bewildering events show how damaged and divided the American society is after four years of Trump administration,â€ Borrell wrote in a blog post.
The Spanish politician said he was shocked by the â€œmob assaulting the Capitol Hillâ€ in Washington last week, and recalled an attempted coup in his home country in 1981, when Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero led 200 armed Civil Guard officers into congress during a vote to elect a prime minister.
While noting that the events in the U.S. capital â€œcannot be compared with the assault on the Spanish Congress,â€ Borrell said that â€œone cannot underestimate the significance of what happened and the potential disaster caused if the matter had derailed even further.â€
â€œWhat we saw on Wednesday was only the climax of very worrying developments happening globally in recent years,â€ Borrell said.
To avoid a further erosion of democratic values and institutions, Borrell said â€œwe must stand up immediately to every violation of the independence of democratic institutions â€¦ to every inflammatory and hateful speech by demagogues, to every disinformation campaign and fake news.â€
Borrell called for reflection on â€œthe root causesâ€ fueling such forces, citing the â€œdysfunctions of our economies,â€ including tax evasion, the â€œweakening of the ability to regulate large multinational companiesâ€ and high unemployment, and called for increased global cooperation.