Spanish Prime Minister Says That Spain Will Not Be Divided as Protests Continue
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a newspaper interview that Spain would not be divided, a week after Catalonia held a referendum that authorities there say showed voters overwhelmingly support independence.
Asked if there was a risk that Spain would be divided, Rajoy said in an interview published in Die Welt on Monday: "Absolutely not. Spain will not be divided and national unity will be preserved. We'll do everything that legislation allows to ensure that."
Catalonia, which has its own language and culture and is led by a pro-independence regional government, held the October 1 referendum over secession in defiance of Spain's constitutional court which had declared the vote illegal, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, it has been announced that France will not recognize Catalonia if the Spanish region unilaterally declares independence, European affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Monday.
"If there were to be a declaration of independence, it would be unilateral, and it would not be recognized," Loiseau said on CNews television.
Catalonia, which has its own language and culture and is led by a pro-independence regional government, held a referendum on October 1 over secession in defiance of Spain's constitutional court, which had declared the vote illegal.
"Catalonia cannot be defined by the vote organized by the independence movement just over a week ago," the French junior minister said. "This crisis needs to be resolved through dialogue at all levels of Spanish politics."
A hasty decision to recognize independence following such a unilateral declaration would amount to fleeing France's responsibilities, Loiseau added.
"If independence were to be recognized - which is not something that's being discussed - the most immediate consequence would be that (Catalonia) automatically left the European Union."