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Minister Margallo insists Catalans will lose Spanish nationality in the case of independence

Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José Manuel García-Margallo stated this Wednesday that Catalans would not be able to maintain their Spanish nationality or European citizenship in the case of independence. “Catalan people cannot expect to maintain certain attributes and not others” he insisted. Margallo called the Catalans’ idea some sort of “joke” and cited Latin American countries’ independence from Spain and Algeria’s independence as examples. He made such statement after Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, failed to defend the idea that Catalans will lose Spanish nationality (because the Spanish Constitution allows them to keep it as they are Spanish by origin). Referring to this, Catalan President Artur Mas stated that “Spain’s threats turn against them like a boomerang”.

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23 September 2015 05:42 PM

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ACN / Sara Prim

Barcelona (CNA).- The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, insisted this Wednesday that Catalans would not be able to maintain their Spanish nationality or European citizenship in the case of independence. His statement arrived after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy exposed himself by failing to defend the idea that Catalans will lose Spanish nationality; the Spanish Constitution allows them to keep it as they are Spanish by origin. Disregarding the article of the Constitution which denies it, Margallo assured that “when someone stops being part of a country, he loses all the attributes that give him membership to this country”. Catalan President Artur Mas responded to Margallo by saying that “Spain’s threats turn against them like a boomerang”.


The confusion around Catalans’ right to keep their Spanish nationality in the event of independence continues to grow. Following Rajoy’s failure to defend the idea that Catalans will lose Spanish nationality, as the Spanish Constitution allows them to keep it, Minister Margallo also contradicted the law. Former NATO general secretary Javier Solana assured that keeping the nationality is voluntary but admitted that “those who try to explain what would happen with nationalities aren’t brilliant in their explanation”. President Mas responded by saying that “Spain’s threats turn against them like a boomerang”.

Margallo: “Who said that joke?”

Margallo assured that Catalans wouldn’t be able to maintain their Spanish nationality “at all” in the event of Catalonia’s independence. “If the aim is to reach a seven-million people independent republic it is absurd that all of them maintain their Spanish nationality” he stated. “When someone stops being part of a country, he loses all the attributes that give him membership to this country” he added and pointed out that “Catalan people cannot expect to maintain certain attributes and not others. If they go, they go”. According to the minister, saying that Catalans’ will keep their Spanish nationality “is a joke” and added that he didn’t know “who said that”. The maintaining of Spanish nationality is established in the Spanish Constitution and is applicable to all who are Spanish by origin and want to keep this nationality.

Margallo cited Latin American countries independence from Spain and Algeria’s independence from France as examples of why Catalans were no exception to the rule. “Latin Americans lost their Spanish nationality” when they became independent from Spain and “the same thing happened with the Algerians with regard to France”. “Although the 1812 Cadiz Constitution was in effect by that time”, he admitted.

President Mas: “Spain’s threats turn against them like a boomerang”

Following this, the Catalan President Artur Mas asked if the Spanish parties would reform the Constitution in order to remove Catalans’ right to keep Spanish nationality. He highlighted that Latin Americans can apply for Spanish nationality “because of their Spanish origins, sometimes distant relationships” but that the Spanish government will remove it from Catalans even if they are “Spanish by origin, by birth”. At a press conference this Wednesday, Mas also emphasised that “Spain’s threats turn against them like a boomerang” and ironically named the nationality issue that Rajoy “already resolved” as an example.

Keeping the nationality is voluntary

NATO former general secretary, Javier Solana, admitted this Wednesday that Catalans won’t lose their Spanish nationality or their European citizenship unless they ask to do so. “Somebody who is Spanish doesn’t lose his nationality unless he wants to, it is very clear in the Constitution” he stated. In any case, Solana admitted that they don’t know what exactly would happen in the event of Catalonia’s independence, “nobody knows for sure; neither us, nor them” he said and added that “those who try to explain what would happen with nationalities aren’t brilliant in their explanation either”.

Catalonia will be banned from the EU and NATO

However, Solana insisted that if Catalonia becomes an independent country it will stay outside of the EU and NATO, especially if independence is achieved “through unconstitutional procedures”. “If Mas’ plot is put into practice Catalonia will never be part of the EU” he warned, because Catalonia can’t become a member state “by breaking the law”. He added that “it is impossible to enter the EU if you are not a state” and to become a state the international community would have to recognise Catalonia as such. In any case, Solana admitted that they don’t know what exactly would happen in the event of Catalonia’s independence, “nobody knows for sure; neither us, nor them” he said and added that “those who try to explain what would happen with nationalities aren’t brilliant in their explanation either”.

Spain will “apply the law” if pro-independence forces win the elections

When asked about a possible victory of pro-independence forces in the 27-S elections this coming Sunday, Margallo stated that the response of Spain would be that of “any civilised country: to apply the law”. In this sense, a potential unilateral declaration of independence would have “no legal effect” in Spain and would “never be recognised by the European Union or the United Nations”. Margallo admitted that in the case of a “yes” victory on Sunday, “tension and frustration” would remain in Catalan society. “What would then be required would be to weld the fracture” that has been created “amongst the Catalan people” as well as the fracture between “those Catalans that desire the separation and rupture of Spain with the rest of Spanish people”, he declared. The situation, he lamented, is regarded with “enormous anxiety” since there is “tons of affection between the two sides”.

 

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  • Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo

  • Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo