Speaker meets European Parliament vice presidents in Brussels
Roger Torrent also talks to Flemish counterpart, who says it is "not normal" that pro-independence leaders are in jail
The Catalan parliament speaker, Roger Torrent, was in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday, where he held a meeting with a European Parliament vice president, Dimitrios Papadimoulis (GUE-NGL) and was set to hold another one with Heidi Hautala (Greens-EFA), also vice president of the European chamber.
Also on Tuesday, he was expected to talk to several MEPs who are members of the EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform, as well as the Committee of the Regions president, Karl-Heinz Lambertz.
In the afternoon he will take part in the conference 'Towards a digital democracy' in a European Parliament room.
Flemish chamber speaker: imprisonments "not normal"
On Monday, Torrent met his Flemish counterpart, Jan Peumans, who said it is "not normal" that pro-independence leaders are in jail.
"It is not normal that the people who want to exercise their political rights are the ones in prison, I don't understand it," said Peumans after the meeting.
Peumans' incident with Spanish foreign ministry
Peumans was involved in a controversy in October when Spain withdrew the diplomatic status of the Flemish delegate in Madrid after the Flemish speaker said that the detention of the political leaders "proves that the central government in Spain does not fulfil the criteria of a democratic and modern European Union."
"It is not normal that the people who want to exercise their political rights are the ones in prison, I don't understand it"
Jan Peumans · Flemish parliament speaker
In fact, Peumans referred to the leaders in pre-trial jail as "political prisoners," which prompted the reaction by the Spanish foreign minister.
Peumans put special focus on his former counterpart Carme Forcadell, and Roger Torrent thanked him for his "defense of the dignity" of his predecessor despite Spain's reaction.
After the meeting, the current Catalan chamber speaker also expressed "solidarity" with the officials behind bars who have started a hunger strike.
Torrent and Puigdemont wish officials on hunger strike "high spirits"
On Monday evening, Torrent also met the former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, in Waterloo.
Both thanked the four jailed pro-independence leaders for their "courage" in starting the hunger strike.
For Torrent, the concerns about Spain's "authoritarian drive" and the "lack of guarantees for prisoners and exiles" are spreading.
"We wish them high spirits, and send them our support, and personal affection," Puigdemont told the press alongside Torrent.