Foreign minister meets Commons speaker to celebrate Saint George's Day
Alfred Bosch highlights free speech and situation of jailed leaders in Westminster reception to honor the patron of England and Catalonia
Foreign minister, Alfred Bosch, spent Sant Jordi's Day in London, at a reception in the Palace of Westminster to celebrate the patron saint of both Catalonia and England.
In the event attended by the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, Bosch said that the former speaker of Catalonia's parliament is in custody "for allowing a debate" on self-determination.
In stressing the importance of free speech, which he described as "holy," Bosch said Sant Jordi's Day was a "good day" to remember that "Spain has a problem with freedom of expression."
The foreign minister also read out a poem that Jordi de Sant Jordi wrote from prison in 1423, to highlight the situation of Catalan independence leaders currently detained while on trial in Spain's Supreme Court.
"I think you can help us with that," Bosch told those present. "I think your tradition is so useful for us and I think England, Westminster, and also with a bit of luck, Saint George, can help us turn that into a different situation."
Bercow said in February, coinciding with the beginning of the independence trial, that he would allow a debate on independence in his chamber. He also recalled the former Catalan parliament speaker, Carme Forcadell, now in jail while facing charges of rebellion.