Sunday’s Catalan independence referendum was “not legal,” European Commission chief spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Monday.
Schinas also repeated the EU’s line that if Catalonia does become independent, it will be “outside the European Union.”
Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont appealed directly to the EU last night after the results of the disputed referendum, which were overwhelmingly in favor of independence. Puigdemont said the EU “can no longer continue looking the other way.” But Schinas stuck to the Commission’s line on the dispute, repeating that it was “an internal matter.”
The spokesman batted away criticism that the Commission responded to the issue too late, saying: “We react at the time when all the elements of the event are in place.”
Schinas also said that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is scheduled to speak with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the phone later today.
Referring to the more than 800 civilians injured on Sunday, Schinas said “violence can never be an instrument in politics,” without attributing responsibility.
He also called on “all relevant players to now move very swiftly from confrontation to dialogue.”
Asked if the police actions were proportionate, Schinas declined to answer, repeating the line that “violence can never be an instrument of politics.”
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