Germany calls for 'dialogue and de-escalation' in Catalonia

Berlin (AFP) –


Germany on Friday called for "dialogue and de-escalation" among "all Spanish actors" after snap elections in Catalonia saw separatists win a slim majority in parliament.

"We hope that it will be possible to overcome the present division in Catalan society and to shape a common future with all political powers in Spain," said government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer.

"The federal government trusts that all actors in Spain will pursue this goal and will use all means of dialogue and de-escalation," she said, adding that whatever Catalan government is formed, it will need to work "within the framework of the country's legal and constitutional order."

Demmer also stressed that Germany sees the case as an "inner-Spanish matter".

Catalan separatists won a crucial snap poll Thursday, plunging their region into further uncertainty after a failed independence bid shook Europe and triggered Spain's worst political crisis in decades.

With turnout at a record high of 82 percent, Thursday's election handed a mandate back to the region's ousted separatist leaders after they campaigned from exile and behind bars.

Madrid called Thursday's vote after secessionists declared independence on October 27, a hugely divisive issue for the wealthy northern region, that has rattled a Europe already shaken by Brexit.