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Puigdemont chooses Brussels for his first official trip abroad

Brussels is the chosen destination for Catalan President Carles Puigdemont’s first official trip abroad. It will be from the 30th of April to the 2nd of May and comes after Puigdemont’s visit to Paris, scheduled for March, had to be cancelled due to the coach accident which killed 13 Erasmus students in Freginals, in the South of Catalonia. Puigdemont made the announcement this Monday during a meeting with the delegates of the Catalan government abroad, the Catalan Government’s representative to the European Union, Amadeu Altafaj, the Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, and the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jordi Solé. During the meeting, Puigdemont also confirmed the government’s will to open new delegations in the Vatican and Morocco as soon as possible.

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18 April 2016 06:52 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- Catalan President Carles Puigdemont will visit Brussels from the 30th of April to the 2nd of May. It will be the President’s first official trip abroad, as he had to cancel his planned visit to Paris in March due to the coach accident which killed 13 Erasmus students in Freginals, in the South of Catalonia. Puigdemont made the announcement this Monday during a meeting with the delegates of the Catalan government abroad, the Catalan Government’s representative to the European Union, Amadeu Altafaj, the Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, and the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jordi Solé. During the meeting, the first held between the delegates and the President, Puigdemont also confirmed the government’s will to open new delegations in the Vatican and Morocco as soon as possible.


The delegate of the Catalan Government in the United States, Andrew Scott Davis, his counterparts in London, Josep Manuel Suàrez; Rome, Luca Bellizzi; France and Switzerland, Martí Anglada; Germany, Mary Kapretz; Austria, Adam Casals and the representative of the Catalan Government in the EU, Amadeu Altafaj, attended the meeting, together with President Puigdemont, Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva and the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jordi Solé. Besides sharing the international agenda regarding Catalonia, Puigdemont expressed the government’s will to “accelerate” the deployment of the new delegations, to be opened in the Vatican and Morocco. Moreover, the new delegation in Lisbon will be in full operation “in the following months”, according to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jordi Solé.

Although these three new delegations have already been appealed by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC), Solé already insisted in March on the “key role” that these institutions play in Catalonia’s foreign affairs strategy and emphasised the government’s will to “continue deploying Catalonia’s institutional representation in the world”. The Catalan government already has seven delegations abroad, as well as three more projected in the short-term and some others to be opened in the near future.

Visit of the President of the Corsican Assembly

Later this Monday, President Puigdemont and Minister Romeva received the President of the Corsican Assembly, Gilles Simeoni. Simeoni won the elections in Corsica and took office in December. The Corsican Assembly has now a majority of sovereigntist seats. Indeed, the Corsican sovereigntist movement is one of the French government’s main concerns, as it has grown significantly since they ceased the armed struggle.

Controversy regarding Puigdemont article in the international press

This Monday, Spanish unionist ‘Ciutadans’ registered a parliamentary question regarding the interview with President Puigdemont which five European newspapers published simultaneously on the 18th of March. “Did the Catalan government pay for the interview with President Puigdemont?” reads the question. The journalists from the Financial Times, Le Monde, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Corriere della Sera and Diario de Notícias whom signed the interview have already reacted to Ciutadans’ insinuation by denying having received any kind of incentive.

The Le Monde journalist involved, Sandrine Morel, assured in an interview with Catalan newspaper ‘El Món’ that such suggestion was “surreal” and “worrying” as it “discredits the profession”. “The Catalan government didn’t pay a single euro, Le Monde paid for everything”. In the same vein, Il Corriere della Sera’s journalist, Andre Nicastro, described it as “crazy”. “A tourist trip could be organised, but an interview? It never happened in my whole life”, he stated.

The Financial Times’ Tobias Buck, Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Javier Cáceres and Diário de Notícias' Susana Salvador also denied the accusation and expressed their perplexity.

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  • Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva and the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jordi Solé met the delegates of the Catalan government abroad (by ACN)

  • Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva and the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jordi Solé met the delegates of the Catalan government abroad (by ACN)