Brussels ignores petition

Brussels avoids talk of dialogue and continues to back Rajoy; France Italy, and Germany warn they will not recognise a declaration of independence

No change. The President of the Catalan government, Carles Puigdemont, heeded the call in extremis the European Council (EC) President Donald Tusk to refrain from declaring unilateral independence because, according to him it would make “dialogue impossible.” Today, all eyes were on Brussels to see if the Commission would finally make a move to promote dialogue between Catalonia and Spain. Nothing could be further from the truth. Reinforced by the rejection of independence by Germany, France and Italy, the core of the Union, the European executive gave no sign of any such move, not even appealing for dialogue. France has taken the hardest line, making it clear that the EU can not deal with the Spanish and Catalan governments on an equal footing.

After the meeting of Commissioners, Vice President of the EC, Valdis Dombrovskis said that the Council had “full confidence” in Mariano Rajoy, as well as “all political forces” to work for a solution within the framework the Spanish Constitution. According to Dombrovskis, the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker is “in constant contact” with Rajoy. There was no explicit mention of contacts with the government of Carles Puigdemont. He did however, acknowledge that the EC is following the situation in Spain “closely” and had spoken “briefly” about Catalonia during the meeting.

Meanwhile, the European United Left-Nordic Green Left says European institutions should urge Rajoy to accept dialogue with Catalonia. The group recognises the validity of the October 1 referendum and sees it as a starting point for negotiations.

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