Pro-independence parties meet in Belgium as jailed leaders continue hunger strike
JxCat, ERC and CUP members and former president Puigdemont hold talks ahead of trial against 2017 referendum
The three Catalan pro-independence parties have met in Belgium with the former president Carles Puigdemont ahead of the trial against some 20 leaders for the 2017 referendum and declaration of independence.
After some weeks of some rows within the pro-independence bloc, the meeting is understood to have tackled some possible strategies to follow in the coming weeks.
The Catalan president, Quim Torra, member of Puigdemont's Junts per Catalunya, attended the meeting, along with his party colleague and minister Elsa Artadi.
Esquerra's Pere Aragonès, vice president of the government, was also in Brussels, and some CUP officials including Carles Riera and prosecuted Mireia Boya.
An official for Junts per Catalunya said on Monday that the meeting aimed to build up "unitary strategies" and that it will not be the last one.
"It means we continue working in a unitary way to cope with the exceptional situation we are facing with the hunger strike of the prisoners and the proximity of the trial"
Josep Costa · Junts per Catalunya MP
"We have to take it positively, because it means we continue working in a unitary way to cope with the exceptional situation we are facing, with the hunger strike of the prisoners and the proximity of the trial," said MP Josep Costa.
For him, the officials in the meeting made a "shared" analysis of the situation, in order to "move forward with a shared roadmap."
Hunger strike: day 3
This comes as two pro-independence jailed leaders continue a hunger strike started on Saturday.
On Monday, day 3 of their protest, the Catalan president, Quim Torra, visited them in Lledoners prison, and supported their claims against the Spanish Constitutional Court.
Torra said the leaders are "absolutely unprotected" in the Spanish framework as they cannot take their cases to the European Court of Human Rights.
So far over 190,000 people have supported their hunger strike through the website vagadefam.cat.