Cataluña crisis: EU official warns “civil war imaginable” in Spain

GERMAN EU Commissioner Gunter Oettinger has warned that Spain could descend into a civil war over the Cataluña crisis unless calm can be restored and the political deadlock broken.

Speaking in Munich the Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources said, “The situation is very, very worrying.

“There is a civil war imaginable now in the middle of Europe.”

The Spanish Civil War  was fought from 1936 to 1939 and Franco then ruled Spain for the next 36 years, from April 1939 until his death in November 1975.

“One can only hope that a thread of conversation will soon be recorded between Madrid and Barcelona.”

Spain’s  national government in Madrid has suspended the Catalan parliament in another desperate attempt to stop the region breaking away after  Catalan president Carles Puigdemont said he was planning to take the result of Sunday’s independence  referendum to the parliament.

Puigdemont has called for central authorities to accept mediation which Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has rejected.

Elsewhere an online Spanish Catholic magazine, Vida Nueva (New Life),  is reporting that  Pope Francis has reiterated his opposition to Cataluña’s independence moves.

The publication said the pope told Spain’s new ambassador to the Vatican, Gerardo Bugallo, that the Holy See is against all self-determination moves that are outside decolonisation processes.

And  a former British diplomat William Mallinson has waded into the debate too.

He has blamed “the enormous size of the European Union and globalisation” for the problems between Spain’s central government  and the Cataluña region.

Dr Mallinson argued the bloc undermines the importance of nations, resulting in “smaller parts getting irritated”.

He suggested a possible solution to the ongoing crisis is to “throw out the hotheads and get Mr. Rajoy to talk to the leaders of Catalonia to try to come to some kind of temporary compromise while everyone gets together and try to put a stop to these deleterious effects of globalisation and the destruction of the nation state.”

He drew parallels between the Catalan crisis and the NATO led-campaign in Yugoslavia following Kosovo’s push for independence.

He said, ”Why isn’t NATO bombing Madrid for 78 days, because the situation is similar in very many ways.

“In fact, Kosovo is even more a part of Serbia than Catalonia is a part of Spain.”

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