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Talks and mediation ‘the only solution’ to Catalan issue, says German MP

Puigdemont’s case is a “political issue,” says Anrej Hunko, Die Linke MP at the Bundestag

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03 May 2018 06:55 PM

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ACN | Aachen

The pro-independence forces main candidate for the presidency was Carles Puigdemont, the sacked Catalan president, currently in Germany. Spain has vowed to impede all attempts to elect him again and is fighting to get him extradited for rebellion and misuse of public funds from Germany. It’s in this country that he was arrested at the end of March, but a court decided he should be released while it considers the case against him. The Catalan leader’s presence in Germany has shocked many, there…and is even becoming an uncomfortable political issue.

To go deeper into how this topic is viewed in some political circles in Germany, Catalan News held an interview with Andrej Hunko, MP for Die Linke at the German federal parliament, the Bundestag. Hunko is a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for The Left party and operates in the electoral constituency of Aachen, Germany. As a member of PACE, he has observed events such as the Turkish constitutional referendum. Catalan News asked him about his opinion on Puigdemont’s presence in Germany and the Catalan issue.

Could you make a general assessment of the European arrest warrant process against Carles Puigdemont, since he's in Germany? 

Well, [for] a lot of Germans, it was a short shock when sentenced, here, and when he was put in prison in Germany, because 30 years of rebellion, because of the referendum he did...this is very strange. In the end, it's a political issue, it's not a question which could be solved through judges, and through prisons. 

  • “In the end, it's a political issue, it's not a question which could be solved through judges, and through prisons”

    Andrej Hunko · MP for Die Linke

You asked a question in the Bundestag related to the surveillance of, or prosecution against Puigdemont. Why do you see this as an issue, and what was the answer, or what measures are you taking? 

Well, I'm dealing a lot with questions on surveillance issues as well, on European and international police corps operations, secret service operations, and all these issues. And when it came to the Puigdemont case, in Germany, I wanted to know if there was surveillance used on German territory, maybe with the involvement of other international actors. But, so far I didn't get any clear answers. 

What, in your opinion, should be a solution, and on which terms, for the whole Catalan situation? 

I think the whole Catalan issue is a political question should be solved politically, it should be solved through talks, through negotiations, with representatives from Catalonia and from Madrid, and I think there should be some international involvement to mediate, to support this process. So far, it doesn't exist, but I think this is the only solution. 

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  • Andrej Hunko, German MP for Die Linke, in an interview with Catalan News in Aachen (by ACN)

  • Andrej Hunko, German MP for Die Linke, in an interview with Catalan News in Aachen (by ACN)