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Spanish Deputy Minister for the EU told Commissioner Reding “what is going on in this country”

The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy disclosed on Tuesday evening that the Spanish Deputy Minister for EU Affairs, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo had travelled to Barcelona on Sunday “to talk with” Viviane Reding and tell her “what is going on in this country”. Méndez de Vigo’s trip was decided after the European Commission Vice President had publicly called on Catalan and Spanish authorities to negotiate “without red-lines” to solve the conflict. Rajoy also said that he had spoken about Catalonia with the European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, “and many other political leaders”. The Catalan Government’s Spokesperson, Francesc Homs, ironically stated that  the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry is putting “so much pressure […] for us not to be received anywhere [to talk about self-determination] that in the end [this attitude] opens doors for us”.

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26 February 2014 08:56 PM

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ACN

Madrid (ACN).- The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy disclosed that the Spanish Deputy Minister for EU Affairs, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo had travelled to Barcelona on Sunday “to talk with” Viviane Reding and tell her “what is going on in this country”. On Tuesday evening, during the State of the Nation Debate at the Spanish Parliament, Rajoy explained that Méndez de Vigo’s trip to Barcelona was decided after the European Commission Vice President had publicly called on Catalan and Spanish authorities to negotiate “without red-lines” to solve the conflict. After talking to Reding, Méndez de Vigo took part in the Citizen’s Dialogue organised in Barcelona on Sunday afternoon, which was part of a series of talks Commissioners give throughout the EU, directly answering the questions of citizens and local representatives. During such an occasion, The European Commissioner for Justice gave the room to Méndez de Vigo, who emphasised that an independent Catalonia would be excluded from the EU and said that “only fools” discussed “this fact”. Besides, Rajoy also stated before the Spanish Parliament that he had spoken about Catalonia with the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durao Barroso, “and many other political leaders”, “because it is [his] duty as Prime Minister”. Meanwhile, the Spokesperson of the Catalan Government, Francesc Homs, ironically said that the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry is putting “so much pressure […] for us not to be received anywhere [to talk about the self-determination claims] that in the end it opens doors for us, even just out of curiosity”.


Mariano Rajoy stated that Méndez de Vigo had travelled to Barcelona as an answer to Viviane Reding’s petition for dialogue “without red-lines”, “to tell her […] what is going on in this country”. Rajoy was answering the intervention of the Spokesperson of Spanish nationalist party UPyD, Rosa Díez, who said that the European Commission Vice-President had “to rectify” her request made to Spain and Catalan authorities because “the law defines the red-lines”.

Díez was “grateful” to the Spanish Prime Minister for giving a “political and not a legal speech on Catalonia and standing up against the self-determination vote. She has also “reached out” to Rajoy to heal Spain whose “entity is getting increasingly weaker”.

Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry is fully engaged in pressuring against Catalonia’s self-determination

The Catalan Government Spokesperson and Minister for the Presidency denounced that the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry “pressured” other countries to try to prevent members of the Catalan Executive and academics from “explaining” abroad the self-determination claims shared by a majority of Catalans. “The Ministry is fully engaged in such a campaign” he said, “calling universities, academics”. He ironically added that he was “thankful” for this behaviour, because “there is so much pressure from the Foreign Affairs [Ministry] for us not to be received anywhere that in the end it opens doors for us, even just out of curiosity”.

Besides, Homs explained that the Spanish authorities “call universities to ask them not to organise events [related to Catalonia’s self-determination]”. “They call academics and write reports”, consequently “generating interest among the [international] media”.

Regarding the trips of the President of the Catalan Government and other members of the Executive abroad, Homs said it was too soon to ask for reactions and international support for Catalonia’s self-determination claims. He insisted that “there is a certain respect regarding what is arising in Catalonia. It is not yet time to ask for answers or anything in return. We are at a stage where we simply have to go explain things and that’s it”.

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  • Iñigo Méndez de Vigo addressing the audience in front of Viviane Reding (by ACN)

  • Iñigo Méndez de Vigo addressing the audience in front of Viviane Reding (by ACN)