Italy will not recognize the unilateral declaration of independence of Catalonia from Spain, Italian government officials have said.
"Italy does not recognize unilateral declaration of independence of Catalonia," Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano tweeted. "An outlaw act. Firm condemnation. Spain must remain united," he tweeted after the parliament of the Spanish region, whose capital is Barcelona, voted to declare an independent and sovereign state on Friday.
In response, the central Spanish government led by conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dissolved the Catalan government, dismissed the regional police chief, and ordered fresh regional elections to be held in December.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, who is Italian, told Italian conservative newspaper Il Giornale in an interview on Saturday that "secession from Spain is secession from Europe... Nobody will recognize the independence of Catalonia."
Former Democratic Party bigwig Massimo D'Alema commented to ANSA news agency that "I am very concerned over the crisis in Spain. I hope there can be dialogue and negotiation."
Also according to ANSA, Senator Renato Schifani from Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right Forza Italia party said that "what is happening in Catalonia... is the fruit of the rashness of a local political class that is demonstrating a high degree of irresponsibility. Europe did the right thing in reiterating that Spain is and remains its sole interlocutor."