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The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has stated in an interview with the newspaper El País, conducted by the writer Javier Cercas, that in Spain "there is a permanent dialectic between the Spanish question and the Catalan question" and that this is not something superficial, but rather, embedded in the cultural tradition. "I don't think that the European adventure can be fitted into a mould. We have traditions that are sometimes a national brake. And the debate, the permanent dialectic that exists between the Spanish question and the Catalan question, for example, shows this very well. We [in France] also have these debates. We have seen it with the Basque Country, with the overseas territories, but the cultural reality is there," he points out.

Macron also talks a lot about Europe in the interview, and explains his theory about the Roman Empire. "Europe had always been considered - it was Peter Sloterdijk who described it very well in his little book on the transfers of empires - as a kind of reinvention of the Roman Empire; that is, with a centre and a periphery, and the domination of one over the others. Basically, you could see it in the Carolingian Empire, in the Napoleonic Empire or in Bismarck's and even in Nazi Germany, the ability in some way to revisit this concept of Europe. We abandoned it. We said: "We are all equal, there are no small, no big, there are no states on the periphery or in the centre. There are several capitals in our Europe, but we are all the same." "And this is a fundamental point." "This is what has allowed peace, prosperity and peace to this continent," he added.

According to the French president, Europe now faces the dilemma of whether to follow its own path or accept the vassalage to the United States or China. "This question has not yet been fully answered. The answer is an economically, technologically and militarily sovereign Europe. That is, a truly powerful Europe. We must not forget the exceptional nature of what we have been doing for several decades, its great fragility and the fact that we are condemned to always be the founders of this Europe", he specified.

Emmanuel Macron made the statements coinciding with the Spanish-French summit that brought together the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, and the French head of state, at the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC). The summit - and the Spanish leadership's assertion that it marked the end of the Catalan independence process - was the incentive needed to attract a pro-independence crowd to the steps of the city's Montjuïc mountain. The organizers admitted a few days ago that they would be satisfied if they managed to gather 5,000 people, taking into account that the fact that it was a working day and the timing did not help their prospects. But they themselves calculated the turnout at 30,000. The Barcelona police brought it down to 6,500, but even this lower end of the range exceeded the forecasts.