The President of the European Council Donald Tusk has claimed that "Spain will remain the EU's only interlocutor," thus reiterating the bloc's firm position on the Catalan referendum.
In a statement that came only minutes after Catalonia's government declared their independence from Madrid, Tusk also urged Spain to use "force of the argument, not argument of force."
For EU nothing changes. Spain remains our only interlocutor. I hope the Spanish government favours force of argument, not argument of force.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) October 27, 2017
The EU has been voicing support for the central government in Madrid since the beginning of the Catalan’s call for independence. EU officials have been calling on the region's government to "respect Spain's constitution," stating that such respect is vital for Europe.
The long-anticipated declaration comes almost a month since the popular vote when an overwhelming 92% of Catalans voted to secede from Spain.