Catalan Foreign Affairs Secretary appears before Uruguayan Parliament amid “pressure” from Spain
Roger Albinyana was invited to attend a meeting of the Commission of International Affairs of the Latin American country to discuss the independence process in Catalonia, the reasons behind it and what could happen after the 27th of September election. The Catalan Foreign Affairs Secretary appeared before the Commission, despite reported “pressure” from Spanish diplomats to cancel the event. The spokesperson for Liberal CDC in the Spanish Senate, Josep-Lluís Cleries, urged Spanish Minister José Manuel García-Margallo to clarify whether his embassy in Montevideo had tried to cancel the appearance. It’s the third time that a foreign country has convened a debate about the independence process in Catalonia, following similar events in Denmark and Ireland.
Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan Foreign Affairs Secretary, Roger Albinyana, has appeared before the Uruguayan Parliament to explain the independence process in Catalonia. At the request of Uruguayan members of parliament, Albinyana explained the causes, the consequences and the calendar behind the 27th of September election to the Parliamentary Commission of International Affairs of the Latin American country. Albinyana was however “surprised” to hear from Uruguayan members of parliament that the Spanish Embassy in the Latin American country had tried to cancel the event.
Following the allegations, the spokesperson for Liberal CDC in the Spanish Senate, Josep-Lluís Cleries, urged Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister José Manuel García-Margallo to clarify whether his embassy in Montevideo had tried to cancel the appearance. “It is urgent for the Minister to appear before the Senate and give explanations”, said Cleries on Thursday. According to him, “the accusation of alleged pressure is so serious that we have to demand political responsibilities”.
It’s the third time this year that a foreign country has convened a debate about the Catalan independence process. In May, the Danish Parliament passed by 64 votes in favour, none against and 41 abstentions a motion urging dialogue between Catalonia and Spain. In July, Catalonia was one of the topics on the agenda of the Oireachtas, the Irish Parliament, in a session that also included the appearance of Albinyana and Royo.
In Uruguay, Roger Albinyana said that the 27th of September poll is seen as a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence for Catalonia, especially since the Spanish government systematically refuses to agree on a legal binding referendum such as the one which took place in Scotland in 2014. During his more than an hour-long appearance, Albinyana defended the right of Catalans to democratically decide their own future.
The Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) also appeared before the Commission. Albert Royo told Uruguayan MPs that on the 11th of September millions of Catalans are expected to once again take to the streets to peacefully defend their right to independence. During his appearance, Royo also explained the most important events of the last years that have led to the current situation.
After their appearance before the Commission, Albinayana and Royo met in private with the President of the Uruguayan Parliament, Alejandro Sánchez. According to the Catalan government, Mr Sánchez was also interested in discussing the political process in Catalonia. Both Albinyana and Royo also travelled to Argentina, where they had meetings with politicians, social groups and representatives of the media.