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German MEP backs left-wing En Comú Podem migrant rescue plan

European Greens candidate Ska Keller prioritizes efforts to prevent deaths in Mediterranean and calls for "fair and transparent" trial of independence leaders

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20 May 2019 05:35 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

German MEP and frontrunner for the European Greens in the upcoming European elections, Ska Keller, was in Catalonia on Monday for a campaign event of the leftwing En Comú Podem party, in support of its candidate for Brussels, Ernest Urtasun.

At the event in the seaside town of Castelldefels, south of Barcelona, Keller and Urtasun launched a European search and rescue plan for refugees in the Mediterranean, which Keller described as "one of our key priorities."

"We need to have a European search and rescue program for the Mediterranean to make sure that everyone is rescued, that there are lots of efforts for search and rescue, and that we're not turning a blind eye to people dying in the Mediterranean," said Keller.

Calling the current European refugee policies "shameful," Urtasun said his party would "not allow" the Spanish government to maintain its current attitude, in reference to incidents such as the recent decision to deny the Open Arms rescue vessel from leaving Barcelona's port.

Jailed leaders

The politicians also commented on the five pro-independence leaders being tried in the Supreme Court who were elected in the April 28 general election and who were allowed out of prison on Monday to attend the Spanish parliament.

Speaking for the En Comú Podem party, Urtasun said "we do not like this situation" and he added that the party would adopt a position that helps allow the jailed MPs to "be able to carry out their mandate with full normality."

Meanwhile, Keller insisted that "this matter cannot be solved by judicial means and it's very important that we have a fair and transparent trial," adding that "we don't believe in accusations of rebellion and we very much hope that this is resolved soon."

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