Europe News

France would not recognize unilateral Catalan declaration: minister

PARIS (Reuters) - France will not recognize Catalonia if the Spanish region unilaterally declares independence, European affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Monday.

“If there were to be a declaration of independence, it would be unilateral, and it would not be recognized,” Loiseau said on CNews television.

Catalonia, which has its own language and culture and is led by a pro-independence regional government, held a referendum on Oct. 1 over secession in defiance of Spain’s constitutional court, which had declared the vote illegal.

“Catalonia cannot be defined by the vote organized by the independence movement just over a week ago,” the French junior minister said. “This crisis needs to be resolved through dialogue at all levels of Spanish politics.”

A hasty decision to recognize independence following such a unilateral declaration would amount to fleeing France’s responsibilities, Loiseau added.

“If independence were to be recognized - which is not something that’s being discussed - the most immediate consequence would be that (Catalonia) automatically left the European Union.”

Reporting by Cyril Camu; Writing by Laurence Frost