Hungary will stand by the decision of the Catalan people in the referendum on independence slated for October 1. “What truly matters is the people’s will: that is our position”, said Zoltán Kovács, the spokesman for PM Viktor Orbán’s administration. The statement came at a Brussels press conference in answer to this question: what is Hungary’s stand on Catalonia’s independence bid? Kovács went on to add that “we must all respect the will of the people; that’s what we call democracy”

Growing international support
During an interview on Euronews last week, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker stated that Europe’s institutions would respect a Yes win in the Catalan referendum. Juncker noted that, in such an eventuality, Catalonia would be expected to go through all the steps required to accede to the EU as a new member state with full rights. He literally said: “As the Commission and I have always said, we would pay attention to and respect the rulings of the Spanish constitutional court and [the decisions] of the Spanish parliament. […] If there were to be a “yes” in favour of Catalan independence […] then we will respect that choice. But Catalonia will not be able to become an EU member state the day after such a vote. Catalonia will have to follow the same accession procedures as the member states that joined after 2004.”

Not long before that, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert had also discussed the political situation in Catalonia. When asked about the matter, Nauert initially gave the pat answer used by most governments across the world: it is a Spanish internal affair. But she added a new detail: the US is committed to working with “whatever government or entity that comes out of it”.

Furthermore, a cross-party group of seventeen Danish MPs have written a damning letter criticising the Spanish government’s crackdown. They urge Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy to play “a constructive role” and to engage in talks with the Catalan authorities immediately. Copies of the letter were sent to the Spanish parliament, the Spanish government, the Catalan chamber and government and their Danish counterparts.

The Danish MPs voice their grave concern over the situation in Catalonia and state that a critical point has been reached. They warn Spain that the “repressive actions” of the past few days and “increasing threats” to civil servants, MPs, mayors, media, companies and citizens will not be the solution to the political problem. The letter concludes that “agreement and good collaboration will be the only possible outcome”.

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Vicent Partal
Director de Vilaweb