German government hopes for dialogue
"Our stance has not changed. We are convinced that the conflict must be resolved through dialogue and within the democratic and constitutional order of the country," said deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer at the government press conference.
Catalonia, in north-eastern Spain, is one of the country’s 17 autonomous communities. In breach of a decision of Spain’s constitutional court, a referendum on the independence of the region was held here at the end of September. According to the regional government, 90 per cent of those who voted were in favour of independence from Spain. On Tuesday evening (10 October) the Catalonia government announced that it would refrain from a secession from Spain for the meantime.
Expectations for the days to come
The German government welcomes the clear stance taken by the Spanish Prime Minister regarding the unity of Spain. Ulrike Demmer stated that any unilateral declaration of independence issued by Catalonian institutions would be unlawful and unacceptable. It would not be recognised.
On Tuesday evening, Chancellor Angela Merkel commented on the crisis in Catalonia. "I hope that a dialogue can be launched and that solutions can be found that are in line with the Spanish constitution."
In response to the announcement of the Catalonian regional government, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel said, "Europe’s strength lies in its unity and the peace with European integration has brought." He added that the demonstrations of the last few days have shown that Catalonia’s population is divided on the question of independence.