President of Spain’s Catalonia region, Artur Mas, is calling his trip to Brussels a “normal” visit after failing to meet with Jose Manuel Barroso.
It is the third time this year Mas has not been seen by the European Commission President. Instead Mas saw vice-presidents Olli Rehn and Maros Sefkovic and the Commissioner for Employment Lazslo Andor.
“I´m here to speak about unemployment, poverty, children, transparency, austerity, about the cuts, I’m here to talk about all these things. It didn’t happen this morning, but if one of the Commissioners asked me about the Catalan political process I would obviously answer,” said Mas.
An independent Catalonia would be out of the EU according to EU Commisioners Joaquín Almunia and Michel Barnier. Mas points out there is no precedent for ejecting seven million Europeans.
“I can’t make firm assurances that something concrete will or won’t happen because this hasn’t happened before,” Mas added.
Catalonia is the wealthiest part of Spain, making the largest contribution to the national budget. Mas is pushing for an independence referendum next year.