Referendums are 'deeply divisive,' says Spanish foreign minister
Josep Borrell rules out right to self-determination for Catalonia and calls on pro-independence parties to worry about 'real' problems
The Spanish foreign minister, Josep Borrell, ruled out a referendum on independence for Catalonia while taking part in an event in Barcelona.
The Socialist official argued that such votes are "deeply divisive" and said that Catalonia has no right to self-determination, as this is not recognized internationally.
He also said that during the meeting between the Spanish and the Catalan presidents, the self-determination was already ruled out.
In an event hosted by Societat Civil Catalana (SCC) unionist organization, Borrell said that pro-independence leaders should worry about "real" problems instead of a referendum.
He believes that the new Spanish government has engaged in dialogue with "empathy," and "good will."
"We don't have to let them brainwash us when saying that Spain is a repressive state, with rights and freedoms which do not work"
Josep Borrell · Spanish foreign minister
Concerning the possibility that the Spanish general prosecutor lowers the charges of rebellion against the 13 pro-independence leaders, he said he was not the appropriate person to answer to that demand made by the lawyers of the nine officials in jail.
Josep Borrell, from Catalonia, is one of the most outspoken Socialist politicians against the country's independence.
During the event, he rejected the interpretation of some parties in Catalonia of Spain's measures in the past few months to stop the lastest independence bid.
"We don't have to let them brainwash us when saying that Spain is a repressive state, with rights and freedoms which do not work. One thing is someone's impression, the other one is the objective reality."
Borrell also said that "it is time to lower the tension."