Independence debate might play role in Spanish minister's bid for top EU diplomat job

Spain's acting foreign minister admits it will "not be easy" to gain enough support for him to be confirmed as Europe's foreign affairs representative


Spain's foreign minister Josep Borrell (by Natàlia Segura)
Spain's foreign minister Josep Borrell (by Natàlia Segura) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 15, 2019 07:32 PM

Spanish acting foreign minister Josep Borrell expects Catalonia's pro-independence camp to try to sabotage his bid to become the EU’s new High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

Nominated for the post by the European Council, Borrell admitted on Monday that pro-independence supporters will attempt to block his bid: "If they can, they will," he said.

Borrell's comments follow a controversy in which leaked documents suggested that the Spanish executive spied on Catalan government diplomats and their sympathizers abroad.

However, Borrell denied that his ministry has any spies, insisting that it "does not have the capacity nor the will to carry out such things."

Controversial figure

A fierce critic of Catalan independence, Borrell has also courted controversy for incendiary comments he has made on the likes of Kosovo, Palestine and Venezuela.

In fact, the acting foreign minister admitted that convincing a majority of the European Parliament to support his bid to become the EU's top diplomat will "not be easy."

"I cannot say the opposite of what I think and I will defend my thoughts on foreign policy," he added, speaking from Brussels.