Independence

European Commission should mediate in Catalan crisis, MEP says

Protesters wave pro-independence Catalan Estelada flags during a demonstration in Barcelona.
Protesters wave pro-independence Catalan Estelada flags during a demonstration in Barcelona.
Photo: AFP

The European Commission should intercede in the secession struggle between Spain, which wants to maintain the country's unity, and its Catalonia region which is trying to gain independence, a European parliamentarian said on Tuesday.

Catalonia held an illegal referendum on October 1 that gave its government a mandate to forge an independent state. Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy wants to use an article in the constitution to rein in Catalan power, including removing its president Carles Puidemont. 

The fight may escalate on Friday when Spain's Senate could vote to back Rajoy's measures.

"We call on the Commission to present themselves as a mediator," Ska Keller, co-president of the Green/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, told a news conference in Strasbourg. "This is a European issue."

European Commission President Donald Tusk said last week that "there is no room or space for mediation or action" by the EU in Spanish events.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said the standoff is "an internal matter for Spain that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order of Spain."

(Alistair Holloway, alistair.holloway@wort.lu, +352 49 93 739)    

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