AN SNP MEP has claimed there have been “dirty tricks” over Catalonia within the European Commission as Spain prepares for an election that is viewed as a plebiscite on independence in the region.

Alyn Smith, who will be observing the election in Spain, has written to President Jean-Claude Juncker seeking “urgent clarification” of an incident involving the Spanish version of the commission’s answer to a parliamentary question on Catalan independence, which differed considerably from the original.

The Spanish translation is believed to have been phrased to be more pro-union.

In his letter, Smith said he believed it could be the work of as few as one or two EC officials, but it was “highly concerning and inflammatory”.

“The remarkable discrepancy between answers given cannot possibly be a simple mistranslation,” he said. “The Spanish language answer given to the question was a completely different text.

“The English language version is the only authentic version, because it is the English version to which the President agreed and which bears his signature.

“The Spanish language version was nonetheless published, and used extensively in the media by opponents of Catalan independence. It has since been removed from the European Commission site, but this is an unacceptable attempt to misrepresent the commission’s position ahead of democratic election in Catalunya.”

Smith is one of 15 international politicians invited to attend the election by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia.

The council said it hoped they would report their observations in their home countries.

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