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Catalonia is one of the topics included on the agenda for the European Council meeting, the German Permanent Representation to the EU has announced. It joins Turkey, Brexit, the Iran Deal and the digital market as the issues to be discussed at today's meeting.

Germany's interest in discussing Catalonia at the meeting is a diplomatic reversal for the Spanish government, which wanted to keep the conflict over Catalonia as an internal affair. So far the Spanish prime minister had managed this, with the EU saying they would mediate only if both the Spanish and Catalan governments asked them to, and foreign heads of state had been describing it as an "internal matter".

If the Catalan conflict does end up on the agenda, it will confirm that a new international stage has been opened up, after today's announcement by the Spanish government that they won't accept the latest letter from Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, and that they will move towards taking over Catalan autonomy via article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. This fact, along with the announcement that such an intervention would be followed by a vote in the Catalan Parliament on independence, has had a direct impact on the European markets. It's also forced other international leaders to comment, among them the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who criticised the EU for their handling of the crisis.