An EU commissioner has suggested that the crisis between Catalonia and Spain could be resolved by granting increased competences to the Catalan government. In particular, says Günther Oettinger, German politician who is EU commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, political structures which allow some regions to have their own constitutions would be his "modest recommendation". He also highlights the need to resume dialogue.
"From the German perspective I would advise, with absolute modesty, that attention should be given to European systems of government in which the regions have their own constitutions and a good part of the responsibility for budgets, justice and education areas", says Oettinger in an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel.
The EU commissioner, a member of the conservative Christian Democrat Union (CDU) led by chancellor Angela Merkel, alludes to the model used by Germany and Austria, which he affirms has delivered "good experiences" through "constructive debate".
The publication, which goes on sale tomorrow but has advanced part of its content today, recalls that the European Commission has stayed on the fringes of the Catalonia question, considering it an internal matter for Spain. "Our starting point is the view that the head of the Spanish government (Mariano Rajoy) is skilful enough to take up the threads of dialogue with Barcelona once again after the elections", says Oettinger, in relation to the Catalan vote on 21st December.