EU Leaders Express Support to Madrid on Catalan Independence Referendum Issue


Several leaders of EU countries have expressed their support for Madrid’s stance amid Catalan independence referendum, which took place on Sunday.

MADRID (Sputnik) – The Spanish government said that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy held phone conversations with leaders of Estonia and France as well as heads of the European Parliament and the European Commission.

“Rajoy thanked them [leaders of EU states] for their support for the Spanish constitutional order at every moment … Rajoy pointed out that the Spanish government’s determination to prevent the illegitimate referendum is promoting the stability and democracy in the whole European Union,” the statement said on Monday.

French foreign ministry announced Monday that France supports the unity and integrity of Spain amid the dispute.

“France is committed to the unity and integrity of Spain, a friendly country, whose voice is needed on the European stage,” a representative of the ministry said during a briefing.

The French ministry also added that they were confident in Spain’s democratic ability to hold a peaceful political dialogue within the constitutional law.

Italian Prime Paolo Gentiloni announced that the country was ready to assist Spain in peaceful settlement of the issue.

“We, Italians and Europeans, are viewing ourselves as big friends of Spain – and we are ready to extend a helping hand believing that is necessary to respect rules and boost the dialogue,” Gentiloni said at the Italian-Spanish forum on Monday.

He said that the European Union could make two steps: confirm the supremacy of the Spanish constitution as well promote a dialogue and search for political solutions.

“I hope that in coming days there will be a chance [to launch] the dialogue with the full respect for the law, principles of the legal state and the Spanish constitution, that it will be possible to avoid the spiral of violence and make the political solution possible,” the prime minister added.

On Sunday, Catalonia held the referendum on independence from Spain. According to the Catalan authorities, a total of 90 percent of Catalonia’s population voted in favor of independence from Spain.

Madrid refused to recognize the vote as legitimate and Spanish police moved in to shut down polling station, prompting clashes with protesters and voters. The Catalan Health Department said that hundreds people sought medical help after the clashes. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that in Catalonia there was “no referendum” on self-determination, but assured that the government was ready to conduct a dialogue within the region.

Source: Sputnik News

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