Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said Sunday that no country within the European Union would accept an independent Catalonia. \"To break up something that is already united is a bad step,\" Garcia-Margallo told the El Mundo newspaper. \"Nobody considers that in the 21st century in the Mediterranean, a sea of culture, that you can make a unilateral declaration of independence,\" he said. The issue of Catalan independence has become a major factor in the forthcoming Catalan regional elections. Artur Mas, president of the Catalonian regional government and leader of the CiU party, has announced that he would call a referendum over Catalan independence if he is elected with a sufficient majority. Garcia-Margallo criticized Mas for what he believes is misleading the Catalan people. \"What I want to say is that Artur Mas has a certain lack of knowledge of EU law,\" the minister said. Garcia-Margallo said Spain would not respect any referendum result in the region, given that the government considers any referendum to be illegal and the result would not be binding. \"The result of a referendum which has been called illegally is the same with or without an absolute majority. It cannot be done and it will not be done. The government will respect the Spanish Constitution and ensure it is respected,\" he said. Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain.