30 MEPs ask to meet with Spanish president in Strasbourg
EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform calls for meeting with Pedro Sánchez during his upcoming visit to EU Parliament, while European representatives visit jailed leaders
Some 30 MEPs from a variety of political parties and countries have asked for a meeting with Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, to discuss the political situation in Catalonia.
In a letter sent on Wednesday, the EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform asked for the meeting during the Spanish president's visit to the European Parliament next week.
Suggesting a meeting on Wednesday January 16, the platform says it is of the "utmost importance" that Sánchez understand the deep concern the political conflict has caused in the EU.
Also in the letter, the MEPs point out that "healthy democracies need dialogue to evolve," and they deny their goal is to "interfere" in Catalonia's political future, as that is for the Catalans to decide "for themselves."
The letter is signed by MEP and former Slovenian foreign affairs minister, Ivo Vajgl, who is the spokesman for the platform set up in November 2017.
Platform's members and aims
Among the members of the EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform are representatives from social democrat, liberal, green, socialist and conservative parties, from such countries as Slovenia, France, Ireland, the UK, Italy and Belgium.
The platform also includes Catalan MEPs, Jordi Solé and Josep Maria Terricabras (ERC) and Ramon Tremosa (PDECAT), as well as Basque representatives, Izaskun Bilbao (PNB) and Josu Juaristi (Bildu).
"Healthy democracies need dialogue to evolve"
EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform
The group's aims include calling for the release of "the political and social leaders who are in prison," the "mediation" of European institutions in the Catalan conflict, and a "negotiated agreement between Spain and Catalonia that should end in a binding referendum."
European representatives visit jailed leaders
On Tuesday, spokesman Vajgl, with European representatives, Belgian MP Peter Luykx and Italian senator Roberto Rampi, visited the leaders being held in the Lledoners prison.
With the trial of the pro-independence leaders due to start this month, Vajgl said he and his colleagues will be "very attentive" during the trial "to ensure that European law is respected."
Then on Wednesday, the imprisoned leaders had another visit, this time from German MP, Andrej Hunko, a member of the left-wing Die Linke party.
Following his visit, Hunko suggested the German federal parliament, the Bundestag, could debate the Catalan situation, and he predicted there would be media coverage of the trial in Germany, as it is "a European affair."
Also on Wednesday, the German MP met with foreign affairs minister, Alfred Bosch, as well as other members of the Catalan Parliament.