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Foreign minister tells BBC independence needs more adherents to “claim international support”

Ernest Maragall on ‘HardTALK’ program says parties in favor of secession must "express a common united strategy” before verdict on prosecuted political leaders

 

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18 October 2018 12:46 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Catalonia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ernest Maragall believes that the independence movement “will have no right to claim international support” until it surpasses the threshold of “at least 50%” of the public in favor of secession from Spain.

In an interview on the BBC's ‘HardTALK’ program, Maragall said that “widening the [support] base” is one of the Catalan government's aims and, he said, to achieve it will “need time” and “a stable, credible government.”

In fact, the foreign minister was confident that the independence movement is capable of winning more public support, pointing out that no more than a decade ago those in favor of a Catalan state "did not exceed 20%."

"Common united strategy” needed before verdict

Maragall also said the pro-independence parties need “to express our common united strategy” before the verdict on political leaders on trial over last year's independence referendum, and he insisted that “a reaction” to the verdict will also be “necessary.”

 

  • "[The Spanish Supreme Court is] much more than independent, they are a political power themselves"

    Ernest Maragall · Catalan foreign minister

During the interview, the foreign minister put forward the possibility that in any new vote agreed with the Spanish government, people in Catalonia could choose, not simply for or against secession, but between “independence or a kind of devolution max.”

Maragall stressed that the Catalan government is still "open to a real debate" with the Pedro Sánchez executive, and "open to discuss a real alternative, a real offer from the Spanish Socialist government that has still not been formulated."

Supreme Court "a political power"

Asked about calls for the Spanish executive to intervene in the judicial process against the jailed leaders, Maragall questioned the independence of Spain's Supreme Court, calling it "a political power," and he added that "they have their own ideology, and they’ve decided to appropriate the Constitution."

Host Stephen Sackur also asked Maragall about the disturbances at recent pro-independence protests. However, the foreign minister said he did not like "these attitudes" shown by some "marginal" elements and insisted on "dialogue and peaceful behaviour."

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  • The Catalan foreign minister, Ernest Maragall, being interviewed in the BBC (by @exteriorscat)

  • The Catalan foreign minister, Ernest Maragall, being interviewed in the BBC (by @exteriorscat)

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