Germany, France express support for a unified Spain

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MADRID: Germany and France backed the Spanish government in keeping the country united, even as Catalan separatists look to carry out a threat to declare independence today.

In a phone call over the weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy her backing for a unified Spain.

Her spokesman added: "Both sides exchanged views on ways in which internal Spanish dialogue can be boosted within the framework of the constitution."

France also said it would not recognise Catalonia if the Spanish region unilaterally declares independence, French European affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau said.

"If there were to be a declaration of independence, it would be unilateral and it would not be recognised," Ms Loiseau said on CNews television.

Mr Rajoy, in an interview with Die Welt newspaper, said his country would not be divided.

"Absolutely not. Spain will not be divided and national unity will be preserved. We'll do everything that legislation allows to ensure that."- REUTERS, AFP