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EU parliament calls special Catalonia crisis debate

The European Parliament will hold a special debate Wednesday on Catalonia’s banned, violence-hit independence referendum, the head of the assembly said.

MEPs in Strasbourg, France, decided to hold the discussion at a meeting on Monday, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said.

The debate will be on the “constitution, rule of law and fundamental rights in Spain in the light of the events of Catalonia”, officials said.

The key political groups in the parliament — the conservatives, socialists and liberals — all backed the call for a debate on Catalonia.

The Green group had called for tougher wording to debate the “police violence against peaceful citizens in Catalonia.”

The debate will give the European Parliament a chance to be more vocal about the Catalonia crisis than other EU institutions, which have been more muted, but MEPs will not vote on any resolution after the debate.

The European Commission on Monday called for “dialogue” while EU President Donald Tusk said he had asked Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to find “ways to avoid further escalation and use of force.”