Reopening of delegations abroad to move forward on Tuesday
Meritxell Serret, Catalan minister deposed by Spain and exiled in Belgium, to be appointed as new Catalan government delegate in Brussels
The government will give the green light to the first phase of reopening delegations abroad on Tuesday, during the weekly cabinet meeting, the Catalan News Agency (ACN) has learned. They were all shut down by Spain last October, save one delegation in Brussels. Indeed, Meritxell Serret, Catalan minister deposed by Spain and exiled in Belgium, will be appointed as new Catalan governement delegate in Brussels.
Two failed European arrest warrants against Serret
She faced twice a European arrest warrant from Spain while in Belgium in the past seven months, but both of them failed. The first one was withdrawn by the Spanish Supreme Court, while the other was rejected by Belgium's judiciary last month. Serret, minister for Agriculture in the deposed Carles Puigdemont cabinet, moved to the EU capital few days after the declaration of independence on October 27, 2017. She is being prosecuted by Spain for misuse of public funds (which might carry a prison sentence) and disobedience.
On the very same day of the declaration of independence, the then Spanish government shut down all the Catalan government delegations abroad except for the one in Brussels. Yet the delegate in the Belgian capital, Amadeu Altafaj, was ousted.
Immediate reopening of delegations
Catalonia’s foreign minister, Ernest Maragall, will confirm on Tueday delegations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States will be opened again immediately.
During an official visit to Brussels on June 14, Maragall spoke about the urgent need to restore Catalonia’s representation abroad in cities such as London, Rome, Berlin, New York, Washington, as well as the one in Switzerland.
In fact, the foreign minister said the first moves towards reopening the offices would come as soon as the following week, with the offices becoming operational within “two or three weeks.”
The second phase is to be one of “consolidation” that foresees “new visibility” on the international horizon, with new delegations or “special envoys” in Paris, Portugal, the Balkans and Nordic countries, according to Maragall.
The third and final part of the plan is of “expansion,” opening nine new centers with “new figures of presence” in places like the Mediterranean, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Latin America.