Catalan government delegation in Portugal reopens
Lisbon office re-inaugurated by President Torra and Foreign Affairs Minister Bosch after forced closure in 2017
President Quim Torra and Foreign Affairs Minister Alfred Bosch have reopened the Catalan delegation in the Portuguese capital Lisbon.
The government delegation to Portugal originally opened in September 2016, in an event attended by then Foreign Minister Raül Romeva.
The Lisbon headquarters was one of those closed by the Spanish government on October 27, 2017, when direct rule was imposed on Catalonia following the declaration of independence.
In April 2019, the Catalan government approved the appointment of Rui Álvaro Serra da Costa Reis as the new delegate to Portugal, as part of efforts to reopen overseas headquarters forced to close in 2017.
Speaking at the official reopening on Thursday, Bosch said "We come here as a legal, legitimate and democratic government, but also as a counterpart that is accepted and recognized by the Spanish government."
President Torra emphasized that the reopening of the office in Lisbon "strengthens the government's international vocation."
Meetings with Portuguese MPs
Bosch also had several meeting scheduled with Portuguese MPs throughout the day, meeting members of the Left Bloc, main opposition party the Social Democrats, and the environmentalist People-Animals-Nature party.
Bosch and Torra are also attending the Lisbon opening of the exhibition 'The Catalan language: 10 million European voices', organised by Catalan group Plataforma per la Llengua to highlight the case for Catalan to be recognised as an official EU language.
Legal back and forth
The issue of Catalan offices abroad has been subject to a lengthy legal back and forth.
Following the implementation of direct rule in Catalonia in 2017, all of the international offices were closed by Madrid, except for the Brussels office. When the Catalan parliament appointed a new president six months later, one of the first measures the government announced was the relaunch of the network of foreign delegations.