Catalan minister calls Spain’s lawsuit against three new delegations abroad ‘inadmissible’
Madrid challenges in court plan to open new offices in Mexico, Argentina, and Tunisia
"We don’t talk badly of anyone. We don’t work against anyone, we just do our own work, which is promoting Catalonia abroad," said Alfred Bosch, Catalonia’s foreign action minister and the official responsible for Catalonia’s international delegations.
Last June, Bosch announced fresh plans to add Mexico, Argentina, and Tunisia to the 12-strong network of international offices abroad. Madrid has challenged the project in court, alleging that the delegations are "harmful" to Spain’s interests.
The Catalan government’s network of delegations includes international diplomatic hubs like Brussels, Geneva, and Washington D.C., as well as major European cities like London, Paris, and Berlin, among others.
On Monday, Bosch held a meeting with all of his delegates abroad—the second time such a meeting has taken place since the Spanish government sacked the Catalan government and imposed direct rule following the 2017 declaration of independence.
All of Catalonia’s delegations were closed in 2017, except for the one in Brussels. When the Catalan Parliament appointed a new president after six months of direct rule from Madrid, one of the first measures the government announced was the relaunch of the network of foreign delegations.
While the Catalan government maintains that its international offices serve to promote Catalonia abroad, Madrid believes they ultimately serve the interests of pro-independence parties and help undermine Spain’s image.
Spain’s foreign minister Josep Borrell is a blatant detractor of Catalan independence and has repeatedly taken measures against Bosch’s work.
Threatened offices abroad
A few months ago Borrell took some of the Catalan overseas offices to court in an effort to close them.
Yet two weeks ago, six decrees were approved by the Catalan cabinet in order to protect such offices from the suit. They replaced an old decree ruling on all six.
With the old decree dropped, Spain’s appeal to court might also be dropped in the near future – although it is yet to be seen whether Madrid decides to also take the new six decrees to court.