Madrid — The Spanish government has criticised Catalonia’s separatist president for urging the region to follow the example of Slovenia, which sparked a brief armed conflict when it declared independence unilaterally from Yugoslavia in 1991. “It’s unfortunate, regrettable. I don’t know if he forgot that dozens of people were killed and hundreds were injured in Slovenia,” government spokesperson Isabel Celaa told Spanish radio on Monday when asked about Catalan leader Quim Torra’s comments. The Catalan government “knows very well that if there is any violation of the law, the Spanish government will act”, she said.

Spanish foreign minister Josep Borell also weighed in, telling reporters in Brussels that Torra “appeared to appeal for an insurrection” with his language. During a speech in Brussels on Saturday, Torra urged Catalans to follow the “Slovenian route” to achieve independence. “Catalans are not afraid. They do not frighten us. There is no turning back in the path to fre...

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