Catalonia warns EU that million-strong march cannot be ignored
The European Union must prepare itself for the breakup of countries within its frontiers, the regional prime minister of Catalonia warned on Thursday, adding that Madrid could not simply ignore a huge independence demonstration held in Barcelona this week.
Artur Mas said: “Europe will at some time have to think about this. It wouldn’t make sense if, because of some rigid norms, it was unable to adapt to changing realities.”
His comments came after the European commission president, José Manuel Barroso, indicated this week that any new state would have to apply to join the EU.
Mas said there would be no looking back for Catalonia after the march, which police said was attended by 1.5 million people – a fifth of the population of the north-eastern region. He also warned the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, and his conservative People’s party (PP) government that they would be foolish to try to ignore the apparent desire for greater autonomy.
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