Juncker claims Cataluña split in Spain could break EU

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: Jean Claude Juncker

EUROPEAN Commission President Jean Claude Juncker has said he did not want Cataluña to become independent.

He said it would encourage other regions to do the same, making the EU ungovernable.

“If we allow Catalonia — and it is not our business — to separate, others will do the same. I do not want that,” he said in a speech at Luxembourg University.

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“I wouldn’t like a European Union in 15 years that consists of some 98 states,” he continued. 

“It’s already relatively difficult with 28 and with 27 not easier, but with 98 it would simply be impossible.”

Referring to Catalan calls for EU mediation, he said the Commission could not mediate if only one side asked it to do so.

“If the Commission or European Council President (Donald) Tusk were to get involved with only one party asking for mediation, this would lead to a great rejection of the European Union.”

The EU has already said it has confidence in Rajoy to resolve what it sees as an internal issue.

Junker encouraged Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to ensure the situation did not get out of control.

Spain’s central government has given Catalan leader Puigdemont until next Thursday to abandon his push for independence. Failing that it may trigger constitutional steps that could see Madrid take control of the semi-autonomous region.

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