SPAIN could descend into a bloody civil war over the crisis in Catalonia, a top EU official has warned.
As separatist parties in the region announce they could declare independence as early as Tuesday, budget commissioner Gunther Oettinger said the situation is “very, very worrying”.
“There is a civil war imaginable now in the middle of Europe,” he said.
“One can only hope that a thread of conversation will soon be recorded between Madrid and Barcelona.”
His comments hark back to the brutal civil war of 1936 to 1939 in which General Franco’s fascist forces slaughtered democratic and communist republicans.
They come as secessionist parties in the Catalan parliament announced on Friday they are preparing an independence declaration to be submitted for ratification on Tuesday.
“We are in talks about a text, with paper and pencil, on the declaration that we want the regional parliament to accept on Tuesday,” Carles Riera, a lawmaker from the CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy), was quoted telling El Mundo.
“Nobody has put forward any scenario of delay, ambiguity or confusion. We are not working on that scenario,” he said.
The declaration could be met with a stringent response from the central Spanish government.
Its bloody crackdown on the independence referendum in Catalonia last Sunday — especially in its regional capital, Barcelona — sparked international condemnation.
But Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy insisted that his efforts to disrupt the vote were proportionate and fair.
His administration has since announced laws making it easier for big firms to move out of Catalonia in an effort to cripple the economically dominant region.