The December 21 ballot might backfire on the Spanish Prime Minister.
President Obama told King Felipe during an Oval Office meeting at the White House on Tuesday that the US is "deeply committed to maintaining a relationship with a strong and unified Spain". Whilst not mentioning Catalonia explicitly, the comments were immediately interpreted by Spanish media as signalling the American head of state's backing for the constitutional status quo in the country, and come not long after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron made similar statements in support of the territorial integrity and rule of law during press conferences with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. King Felipe and Queen Letizia will remain in the United States for the rest of the week. President Obama wants to visit Spain before he steps down as President in 2016.