Catalonia and Spain vie for support abroad
Catalan foreign minister tours Europe calling for "active role" from international community, while Spanish government sends promo video to embassies
Catalonia's foreign action minister, Alfred Bosch, has called on the international community to take "an active role in helping to come up with a viable solution to the conflict between Catalonia and Spain," in an article printed simultaneously in 13 media outlets abroad.
The article titled 'Now it's up to you' condemns the lengthy prison sentences handed down to nine Catalan independence leaders, which Bosch says shows that the conflict is "no longer an internal affair of Spain; it is a European and global crisis."
Bosch's article comes as he begins a tour of European cities to condemn the sentences that amount to a joint total of 100 years. The foreign minister was in Munich on Tuesday, and before the end of the week will also visit Salzburg, Vienna, Bratislava, and Paris.
Bosch's tour comes only days after the Spanish government's Global Spain agency launched a campaign abroad aimed at showing that Spain is a well-established democracy that respects civil and political freedoms.
Coinciding with Spain's national day celebrations on October 12, Global Spain sent a video to its embassies, consulates and representatives around the world aiming to show the country as "one of the most advanced constitutional states in the world."
Condemnation from international figures
However, the imprisonment of the leaders has so far drawn condemnation from a number of international figures, such as Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who called the verdict a "dreadful outcome," and former Greek finance minister, Yannis Vaorufakis.
The latest voices abroad to speak out against the sentences came from former Croatian president, Stjepan Mesić, who on Wednesday expressed his support for the "struggle for human rights" in Catalonia at a meeting with the Catalan Balkans delegate, Eric Hauck.
Meanwhile, singer and pro-democracy activist from Hong Kong, Denise Ho, tweeted on Wednesday: "Had tears in my eyes seeing the most recent protests in Catalonia, inspired by HK youngsters. Go Catalonia! Go Hong Kong! Go World!"