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The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister summons Latvia’s ambassador over his Prime Minister’s statements about Catalonia

In an exclusive interview with the CNA, the Prime Minister of Latvia, Valdis Dombrovskis, was asked if his country would recognise an independent Catalonia. Dombrovskis answered: “if there is legitimacy in their process, then I would say, theoretically, 'why not?'”, opening the door to  recognition. The statement has been badly received in Madrid and the Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García Margallo, requested an urgent meeting with Latvia’s Ambassador in Madrid in order to clarify the issue. The Spanish Deputy Minister for the European Union, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, will also be present at the meeting.

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13 September 2013 10:46 PM

by

ACN

Madrid (ACN).- In an exclusive interview with the CNA, the Prime Minister of Latvia, Valdis Dombrovskis, was asked if his country would recognise an independent Catalonia. Dombrovskis answered: “if there is legitimacy in their process, then I would say, theoretically, 'why not?'”, opening the door to recognition. However, he also pointed out that Latvia “has not formulated an official position” on the issue yet. The statements have not been welcomed in Madrid and the Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García Margallo, requested an urgent meeting with Latvia’s Ambassador in Madrid, Janis Eichmanis, in order to clarify the issue. It is expected that García Margallo will present a formal complaint. The Spanish Deputy Minister for the European Union, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, will also be present at the meeting. The controversy comes two days after 1.6 million Catalans formed a 400-kilometre-long peaceful human chain supporting independence from Spain. The demonstration, called ‘The Catalan Way towards independence’, was inspired by the ‘Baltic Way’ of 1989, when people from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania formed an uninterrupted human chain uniting the 3 capitals. Participants were asking for their independence from the USSR, which they achieved 2 years later, in 1991.


According to sources from the Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, requesting the urgent meeting is a personal initiative of García Margallo. The Head of Spanish Diplomacy wants the Latvian Ambassador to clarify the context and the reasons behind the statement made by the Baltic country’s Prime Minister. According to the same sources, García Margallo will remind the Latvian Ambassador about the rules of accession to the European Union and the constitutional framework of Spain. The Spanish Government has been insisting for months that a self-determination referendum for Catalonia is completely unconstitutional, according to its interpretation of the text. García Margallo has been particularly vocal against Catalonia’s independence over the last months.

 

The CNA interviewed the Latvian Prime Minister on the occasion of the ‘Catalan Way towards independence’, which was inspired by the ‘Baltic Way’. Latvia’s Premier stated that the Catalan human chain is a “powerful signal” that is “worth paying attention to”. He also admitted that at a European Union level there are already discussions about what would happen if a part of a member state seceded; whether this new state would be part of the EU or not. He explained that a final decision has not been taken yet. “It would definitely be good for people to know so that when they vote, they know the consequences”, he concluded. The Latvian Ambassador will have to explain these statements personally to García Margallo and the Spanish Deputy Minister for the European Union, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo.

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  • The Prime Minister of Latvia, Valdis Dombrovskis, interviewed by the CNA (by A. Segura)

  • The Prime Minister of Latvia, Valdis Dombrovskis, interviewed by the CNA (by A. Segura)