The President of the European Parliament, Italian Antonio Tajani, says Europe should “be very concerned about” splits into smaller countries. This comes as Catalonia is fighting for independence and Italian regions Lombardy and Venetia voted on having more autonomy on Sunday.
Europe “should of course be very concerned about” splits into smaller countries, Antonio Tajani explained in an interview published in Rome based paper Il Messaggero on Sunday.
“This is why no-one in Europe intends to recognise Catalonia as an independent State”, he said. “Even Theresa May (the British Prime Minister), who is in the middle of Brexit, said the UK would never recognise Catalonia”, he added.
Mr Tajani said “Spain has always been a united State with numerous autonomies: it has diverse populations who speak different languages, but it has always been a united State. “”We won’t strengthen Europe by quashing national identities”, he said.
Antonio Tajani, who is part of the PPE (right), has been careful to distinguish the Catalonian referendum from those held in Lombardy and Venetia, two Italian regions that voted on having more autonomy on Sunday.
“First of all, these two referendums (in Lombardy and Venetia) were legitimate, which was not the case in Catalonia”, he explained. “Also, the Catalonia referendum was for independence, whereas those in Lombardy and Venetia were for more autonomy. We have to be careful not to let the referendums on Sunday be a trigger for a series of independence proclamations”.
“In Spain, it wasn’t about autonomy but a proclamation of independence, against the law and the Spanish Constitution. It’s the result of an illegal referendum that violated the rules of Catalonian autonomy”, says Antonio Tajani.