News Worms
News Worms

Spanish gov't to take measures if Catalonia region unilaterally declares independence

Spanish gov't to take measures if Catalonia region unilaterally declares independence

If Catalonia does declare independence, they will no longer be a part of the European Union.

Nathalie Loiseau, France's minister for European affairs, warned on Monday that "if there were a declaration of independence it would be unilateral and it wouldn't be recognised". Rajoy has said the central government could take direct control of Catalonia, which now has a measure of autonomy.

"Spain will not be divided and the national unity will be preserved".

"We will apply what the law says", he told TV3.

"We have listened to many people". "We are facing a tremendous unknown".

Ms Colau also urged Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to pull out the extra police that have been drafted in to the northeast region as a "gesture of state responsibility".

"This situation can not be solved by violence, we have to find a solution through dialogue, this is also true when you consider the economic oint of view", he said.

The stakes are high for both Spain and Europe if Catalonia chooses to break away.

Catalonia, a northeastern region about the size of Belgium, is home to 7.5 million people and accounts for a fifth of Spain's economy.

Weighing against that is the decision of several large businesses, including Catalonia's top two banks, to pull out of the region amid the uncertainty over its future.

Plus, if an independent Catalonia later applied to get into the European Union, all member states, including Spain, would have to approve.

"It [a declaration of independence] will not go unanswered", she said, adding that "all measures necessary will be taken" in response.

But the result was not as decisive as it appeared - turnout was only 43%.

France, on the other hand, said that they will not be recognizing Catalonia should it declare its independence on Tuesday. It said its priority was to protect "clients, shareholders and employees" given the current political and social situation.

Hundreds of thousands of flag-waving demonstrators packed central Barcelona on Sunday to rally against plans by separatist leaders to declare Catalonia independent following a banned secession referendum.

That shocked even many Catalans who were opposed to independence and sparked angry demonstrations against the police.

Catalan authorities say more than 90% who voted backed independence, although opinion polls suggest it is much closer.

Thomas says that the "powerful" show of support for unity means that a declaration of independence may not be well received.

But the Spanish Government, buoyed by Sunday's protests in Barcelona, the Catalan capital, made it clear on Monday it would respond immediately to any such vote.

"The ideal thing would be not to seek drastic solutions", he said in an interview published this weekend in El Pais newspaper. "It is up to the government to make decisions, and to do so at the right moment", Rajoy said. "We will see what happens this week but we have to speak out very loudly so they know what we want".


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