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European outrage and caution over Catalonia crackdown

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LLUIS GENE / AFP

The force used by Spanish police to prevent an independence vote in Catalonia on Sunday provoked condemnation from some European politicians.

Others, mindful of separatist movements in their own nations, sounded a note of caution.

EU Parliament Brexit chief Guy Verhofstadt:
“I don’t want to interfere in the domestic issues of Spain but I absolutely condemn what happened today in Catalonia.”

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon:
“Regardless of views on independence, we should all condemn the scenes being witnessed and call on Spain to change course before someone is seriously hurt.”

Britain’s foreign ministry:
“The referendum is a matter for the Spanish government and people. We want to see Spanish law and the Spanish constitution respected and the rule of law upheld.”

Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel:
“Violence can never be the answer! We condemn all forms of violence and reaffirm our call for political dialogue.”

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic:
“Our position is clear and principled, Spain is one of the greatest friends of Serbia”. Madrid is in “the same position on the issue of the territorial integrity of Serbia.”

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire:
“Spain is a friendly nation, a proud people. Clearly I hope that civil peace will reign in Spain.”

Ex-Barcelona footballer Gary Lineker:
“Truly awful scenes in Catalonia. Disgusting.”

Barcelona mayor Ada Colau, on Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy:
“He is a coward who does not live up to his state responsibilities… as a result he must resign.”

Rajoy:
“Today there has not been a self-determination referendum in Catalonia. The rule of law remains in force with all its strength.”


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