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Jailed Catalan leader open to talking to Spanish President Pedro Sánchez

Brother of former Barcelona mayor and Junqueras advocate for social justice, republican values and independence

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18 May 2019 12:04 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

Communicating via video conference from the Soto del Real prison, jailed Esquerra Party (ERC) head Oriol Junqueras told the press on Saturday morning that he was open to talking to politicians of all stripes and colors, whether he agreed with them or not, since he described it as not only his political duty, but his duty as a human. He also said he would be interested in talking to Spanish president Pedro Sánchez during the Spanish Congress’ constitutive session this coming week.

To this effect, Junqueras also said he believed that “diversity makes us stronger” and that people, even though they may be different, still have a lot to share with one another.

Following Junqueras’ intervention, Barcelona mayoral hopeful Ernest Maragall addressed the press to highlight elements of his electoral project, including his proposals for reducing traffic and pollution in the city or guaranteeing affordable housing as well as his views on other political parties in the race. Above all, he stressed the city’s role in defending democracy and freedom.

In terms of reducing traffic and pollution in the city, Maragall stressed the importance of providing individuals with reliable public and preferably green transportation alternatives since, according to him, it makes no sense to penalize people who do not have better ways of getting around. His housing proposal includes increasing the housing offer by 15,000 homes over 8 years, as well as reducing the amount of families facing eviction and providing more housing alternatives for them.

When asked which other parties ERC felt closest to in Barcelona in the event of having to negotiate with them following the elections, Maragall did recognize that they were closest to Ada Colau’s Barcelona en Comú in terms of progressive politics while also being closer to Elsa Artadi’s Junts per Catalunya when it comes to its pro-independence sympathies.

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  • Ernest Maragall greets jailed ERC leader Oriol Junqueras at a press conference on Saturday (Maria Belmez/ACN)

  • Ernest Maragall greets jailed ERC leader Oriol Junqueras at a press conference on Saturday (Maria Belmez/ACN)

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