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France's Macron expresses full support to Spanish PM over Catalonia crisis

French President Emmanuel Macron pays his respects to the flag upon his arrival at the Cayenne Felix-Eboue Airport at the start of his visit in Cayenne, Guyane, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Ronan Lietar

CAYENNE (Reuters) - French president Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that he was fully supportive of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, regarding the crisis taking place in Catalonia.

The Spanish government moved to impose direct rule over Catalonia, stripping the region of its autonomy less than an hour after its parliament declared independence in a stunning show of defiance.

“I have always said that I have one interlocutor in Spain, it is Prime Minister Rajoy,” Macron told journalists on the sidelines of a visit to French Guiana.

“There is a rule of law in Spain with constitutional rules. Mariano Rajoy wants these rules to be respected and he has my full support,” Macron added.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who was accompanying Macron, also said it was important to avoid any splits and “fractures” in the European Union bloc.

“I do not want a situation where, tomorrow, the European Union is made up of 95 different states. We need to avoid splits, because we already have enough splits and fractures and we do not need any more,” said Juncker.

The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, also voiced support to Rajoy earlier on Friday.

Reporting by Ronan Lietar; Writing by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta