French President Emmanuel Macron said on October 10 that the European Union should stay out of Spain’s secession crisis.

Ahead of a speech by Carles Puigdemont, president of the Catalan regional government, who asked for a mandate to declare Catalonia an independent state, Macron said: “Why are Europe, France and Germany not interfering in the Catalan issue? Because Europe is made up of sovereign states.”

As reported by the Reuters news agency, Macron was speaking during a visit to Frankfurt, Germany, where he met Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“If I were to intervene in the Catalan matter it would be interfering in the domestic affairs of Spain and that would be intolerable for the prime minister and for the Spanish monarch.”

Macron backed Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in his standoff with the secessionists. “I don’t have the feeling that they are being oppressed,” he said.

“That is why I continue to hold firm to this line in my declarations of support for Mariano Rajoy – because if I don’t there will be disintegration,” he said in a debate before university students.