Normality should be restored after December 21 elections, says Juncker
The European Commission president expresses full support to Rajoy's measures but states that "use of force" should be avoided
The European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that the December 21 elections should be “the moment to restore normality” in Catalonia. The country is now ruled from Madrid, its elected president is “in exile” and has been deposed by the Spanish government. Besides while four Catalan ministers are in Brussels with President Puigdemont, eight more are in jail. None of them is so far able to take part in the campaign in Catalonia. For Juncker, “December 21 is the day from which everything could, should improve.”
The Commission leader made these remarks in an interview to El País, in which he also fully supported Mariano Rajoy's measures against the Catalan self-rule. “I am in favor of the ones who respect the law, the EU is based on the rule of law, and what my Catalan friends have made is the opposite: breaking the law," he said. Juncker added that "the Catalan authorities should not underestimate the backing Rajoy has all around Europe." According to him, there will be "no government in Europe" supporting the steps that the Catalan authorities took after the referendum.
Juncker said that “there must be dialogue” but he would not be calling for dialogue or mediation because it is not his responsibility. “It is the Spanish government the one who has to put its house in order,” he claimed. He avoided having their say on a potential pro-independence victory in the elections and only stated that it is not clear whether the people for a Catalan state are “the majority”.
"It is the Spanish government the one who has to put its house in order"
Jean-Claude Juncker · European Commission president
While the Luxembourger leader expressed support to the Spanish government’s measures to stop the independence roadmap in Catalonia, he said that he will never be “in favor of the use of force”. Indeed, he revealed that the only time in which he criticized Mariano Rajoy in private was after “the police moment during the October 1 referendum,” referring to the police violence which caused 1,066 injured in the country, according to the Catalan Health Department.
Yet he also stated that he was not in Catalonia when the events unfolded. "I have seen many images, and many fake news, I am unable to distinguish them, I am not going to make any judgement," he claimed.
According to Juncker, “Catalonia is a great, enormous concern” in Brussels and that the current situation is a “disaster.” For him, the political debate over independence has caused “an internal rupture in the Spanish and Catalan societies.”