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Puigdemont summons pro-independence groups to Brussels to launch Council of the Republic

Far-left CUP party declines invitation, dismissing organization as "symbolic"

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22 October 2018 11:42 AM

by

ACN | Brussels

Carles Puigdemont summoned pro-independence parties and organizations to Brussels on Monday to launch the Council of the Republic, a body led by the former Catalan president with the aim of advancing the case for independence from abroad.

Puigdemont first announced the creation of the council in February, when Spanish courts prevented him from reclaiming his post at a distance. He appointed a successor and pledged to focus on raising awareness of Catalan independence at the international level instead.

Yet, it is not clear who will be part of the council, nor how will it work, nor what its functions will be.

  • "What we need to do is enforce self-determination and break with Spain"

    Carles Riera · CUP leader in parliament

While major pro-independence parties and grassroots organizations will be part of the council, the far-left CUP party rejected the invitation to join the body.

In an interview with Catalan public TV, Carles Riera, CUP’s leader in the Catalan parliament, dismissed the council as a "symbolic solution that avoids facing the real problem," and said it only served to "beat around the bush and divert attention."

"What we need to do is enforce self-determination and break with Spain," said Riera. "From that point, [we will start] the constituent process."      

The presentation of the Council of the Republic will be attended by representatives from Puigdemont’s party, Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), as well as Toni Comín, an MP for Esquerra Republicana (ERC) who is also exiled in Brussels.

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  • From left to right: former minister Toni Comín, former president Carles Puigdemont, president Quim Torra, and former minister Meritxell Serret (by Natàlia Segura)

  • From left to right: former minister Toni Comín, former president Carles Puigdemont, president Quim Torra, and former minister Meritxell Serret (by Natàlia Segura)