Catalan republicans urge Spain to accept vote

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The German government says any new Catalan government will have to respect the Spanish constitution and is stressing that it still views the region’s future as a Spanish domestic issue.

Thursday’s regional election gave separatist parties another slim majority in Catalonia’s parliament, offering new momentum to their drive for independence — which has no support from Spain’s European partners. Spain’s constitution bars secession.

German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said Friday Berlin hopes regional lawmakers will be able to “overcome the current division of Catalan society and shape a common future with all political forces in Spain.”

Demmer said Spanish politicians should “use all opportunities for dialogue and de-escalation.”

She added: “This is a domestic Spanish matter that has to be resolved within Spanish law and the Spanish constitutional order.”