EU Spain: Junker does not want Catalonian independence

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivers a speech during a debate on the progress of the Brexit talks at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, October 3, 2017Image copyright

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Mr Juncker says he does not want an EU of some 90 states

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker has said he does not back Catalonian independence, fearing others may follow in its footsteps.

Mr Juncker, speaking at a students forum in Luxembourg, warned it could result in a region too complicated for the European Union (EU) to govern.

Spain has been in turmoil since the separatist government in Catalonia held a disputed referendum on 1 October.

The vote, declared invalid by Spain’s top court, had a 43% turnout.

Almost 90% of voters backed independence, Catalan officials say.

The EU has made clear that, should Catalonia split from Spain, the region would cease to be part of the EU.

It has also made it clear the issue of independence was one for Spain.

However, Mr Juncker was open with his own views on the issue.

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The issue has been divisive within Spain

“If we allow, but it’s not our business, that Catalonia becomes independent, others will do the same and I wouldn’t like that,” he said.

“I wouldn’t like a European Union in 15 years that consists of some 90 states.”

His comments come after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gave Catalan separatist leader Carlos Puigdemont five days to say whether or not he has declared independence.

If Mr Puigdemont confirms by Monday that he has, he will be given a further three days to withdraw the declaration.

Speaking at Luxembourg University on Friday, Mr Juncker urged Mr Rajoy to bring the situation under control.

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