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Mas to visit Paris on first official trip abroad since leaving office

The former Catalan President will give a public lecture at the prestigious French business school École des Hautes Études Commercials on the 26th of April. Artur Mas will defend that the process towards independence is not harming investment in Catalonia in a talk titled ‘Foreign Investment during Political Crisis: the Catalan Case’. His successor as Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, have asked Mas to help them promote Catalonia abroad. Mas is considered an asset for Catalonia, given his broad international experience and his “status” as former President.

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22 April 2016 05:38 PM

by

ACN

Paris (ACN).- The former Catalan President Artur Mas will give a public lecture at the prestigious French business school École des Hautes Études (HEC) in Paris on the 26th of April. This will be his first official trip abroad since leaving office in January, when Carles Puigdemont took over as President. Artur Mas will defend that the process towards independence is not harming investment in Catalonia in a talk titled ‘Foreign Investment during Political Crisis: the Catalan Case’. Current Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, have asked Mas to help them promote Catalonia abroad. Mas is considered an asset for Catalonia, given his broad international experience and his “status” as former President.


HEC, managed and financed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris, is the second best business school in Europe, according to a ranking by the ‘Financial Times’. The public lecture is part of the ‘HEC débats’ conference on the Versailles campus, in which political and economic leaders participate. The organisers invited the Catalan Government to take part, and the executive decided that Mas was the most suitable person to give the lecture.

France is a priority in the foreign strategy of the Catalan Government. Paris was in fact the last city that Mas visited as President, in December last year, when he attended the COP21 summit and the Climate Group States and Regions. On the same trip, he also paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks of the 13th of November in Paris, laying a flower tribute in front of the Bataclan.   

The current Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, was supposed to make his first international trip to Paris on the 21st of March, but he had to cancel it because of the tragic bus crash in Freginals, where 13 young Erasmus students died. Puigdemont had been invited to give a public lecture at the Sciences Pro University in Paris presented by former Prime Minister and now Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs, Enrico Letta.

Puigdemont will finally make his first trip abroad to Belgium. Between the 30th of April and the 2nd of May, the Catalan President will visit Gent, Anvers and Brussels, and will meet with representatives of the Flemish Government. His full agenda, however, is not yet public. The Foreign Affairs Minister, Raül Romeva, will travel to London on Wednesday and to Scotland on Thursday.

In the last few months, Artur Mas has had international meetings in Barcelona, all of them in a very discreet manner. “As I said that I am here to help, and at the disposal of the Government, every time they ask me I will try to help, and in some months I will do some trips abroad”, he said in an interview with the newspaper ‘Ara’. The Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has pointed out, however, that Mr Mas’ role internationally is not “a formal one”.

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  • Former Catalan President, Artur Mas at his arrival at Paris' Town Hall in a picture from December (by ACN)

  • Former Catalan President, Artur Mas at his arrival at Paris' Town Hall in a picture from December (by ACN)