CATALAN TENSIONS: Spanish Foreign Minister says Cataluña on the verge of ‘civil strife’

DIALOGUE CALLS: Borrell (right) took over from predecessor Alfonso Dastis last week DIALOGUE CALLS: Borrell (right) took over from predecessor Alfonso Dastis last week Josep Borrell/Twitter

SPAIN’S Minister of Foreign Affairs has called for dialogue on Cataluña after saying the region is on the verge of “civil strife” in an interview yesterday (Sunday).

Josep Borrell added in the interview on a Spanish news television programme participation from across the political spectrum would be required to resolve the situation in the region.

“We are on the verge of a civil confrontation,” he said.

The minister’s comments come as the government in Madrid has begun restoring the powers taken away from Cataluña following last year’s independence referendum and declaration.

Borrell said the government’s first obligation was to maintain the unity of Spain but Madrid was willing to open channels of dialogue with authorities in Cataluña.

He added it would have to be within the framework of the law in reference to the courts previously finding last year’s referendum unconstitutional.

“The next time they play poker they will play with chickpeas because they have been playing with the future of this country,” Borrell said.

He added in reference to pro-independence politicians currently in jail or abroad in connection with last year’s secession push that their fate was in the hands of the courts.

Joe Gerrard

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