Brussels, Oct 13 (IANS) European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday that he did not want Catalonia to break away from Spain because it would encourage other regions in Europe to follow suit.
Juncker made the comments while speaking to students at the University of Luxembourg.
“If we allow, although this isn’t only our thing, Catalonia to secede, others will do the same,” said the Commission’s chief.
“I wouldn’t like that,” he added.
Juncker said that he had asked Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to take measures in order to avoid the situation in Catalonia becoming what it is now, the Daily Express reported.
He said that he would not want to have a European Union consisting of 98 states, considering it “relatively hard enough” with 28 member states.
“It won’t be easy with 28, but with 98 I imagine it to be downright impossible,” Juncker said.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont told his Parliament on Tuesday that “Catalonia had won the right to become independent” but that he would “suspend an official declaration for some weeks” to allow for talks with Madrid.
However, Spain rejected the proposal for dialogue.
Apart from Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron also threw their support behind Spain amid the crisis.
European Council President Donald Tusk had also warned Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont saying: “Diversity should not lead to conflict whose consequences would obviously be bad for the Catalans, for Spain and for the whole of Europe. Let us always look for what unites us and not for what divides us.
“This is what will decide the future of our continent,” Tusk said.