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The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, has this week showed her concern about the political crisis between Catalonia and the Spanish state, which has acquired a higher profile since last Monday's court announcement of long jail sentences for 9 pro-independence figures. Meeting with Pablo Casado, head of Spain's Popular Party, the German leader asked about the situation in Catalonia as one of her key questions, according to the newspaper El Mundo. "What's happening in Catalonia?" Merkel asked the PP leader, in an interview in Brussels which coincided with a meeting of the European Popular Party.

According to the newspaper, Casado told Merkel that, if he becomes the new Spanish prime minister after the November 10th elections, he will practice a "firmer" policy than acting PM Pedro Sánchez "to avoid the current impression of instability being given by the fourth largest country in the eurozone".

The same source suggests that Merkel is worried about whether the Spain-Catalonia situation was going to join Brexit as a source of EU instability, which would also coincide with the Chancellor's retirement year.

Meanwhile, another key German political figure, Ursula von der Leyen, newly-appointed president of the European Commission, also expressed her concern to Casado about events in Catalonia, "putting her emphasis on the images coming out of Barcelona." "In our contacts with the Spanish government, they are very uneasy and nervous about Catalonia," a source in Von der Leyen's team told the Madrid newspaper.