France remains committed to Spain’s integrity and unity, says Minister
Spain – Situation of the exiled Catalan leaders – Reply by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly
Paris, 15 October 2019
A moment ago you recalled the decision by Madrid’s Supreme Court to impose substantial sentences on nine officials involved in Catalonia’s aborted secession attempt in October 2017. You drew attention to the severity of these sentences. And, moreover, as you know, a new European Arrest Warrant for the former Catalan premier who fled to Brussels, Mr Puigdemont, has been issued by the Spanish judge also on the charges of sedition and misappropriation of funds.
You pointed out that the Court’s decisions have aroused strong feeling in Catalonia: roads have been blocked, Barcelona airport has been blocked. Calling for the verdict to be strictly adhered to, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mr Pedro Sánchez, signalled his wish to open a new dialogue, building on the calming gestures he has already made towards Barcelona, including a new [autonomy] statute for Catalonia which would be subject to a regional referendum.
All that being the case, it won’t surprise you that France’s position hasn’t changed. We’re deeply committed to Spain’s integrity, its unity and the strict respect of its constitutional legality. And the Catalonia issue must be viewed in the context of democracy, Spanish sovereignty and the rule of law./.