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Relationship between Catalonia and Flanders won’t be affected, officials agree in meeting

Madrid has “opportunity to rectify” in upcoming meeting between Flemish head and Spanish ambassador, says Catalan foreign minister

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19 October 2018 03:13 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan foreign minister, Ernest Maragall, met the Flemish leader, Geert Bourgeois, on Friday, only few days after the diplomatic clash between Spain and Flanders.

During the meeting, held in Brussels, both agreed that the open conflict will not affect the relationship between both territories.

Talking to the press after the meeting, Maragall said that the issue will not bring “any change in the intensity of the presence or relationship of Flanders with Catalonia.” He also made sure both countries will continue working “as normal.”

Bourgeois, through the Belgian foreign ministry, has summoned the Spanish ambassador in Belgium, who has accepted sitting with him.

Maragall said that in this meeting, Spain’s representative will have the opportunity to rectify.

  • “When someone listens to minister Bourgeois and his calmness, it is very difficult to not agree with him or to not realize to what extent a mistake has been committed"

    Ernest Maragall · Catalan foreign minister

“When someone listens to minister Bourgeois and his calmness, it is very difficult to not agree with him or to not realize to what extent a mistake has been committed,” he added.

Maragall also criticized his Spanish counterpart, Josep Borrell, accusing him of “erasing from the map the parts of Europe that he does not like.”

Flemish parliament president comments

The Flanders delegate in Spain, André Hebbelinck, was stripped of his diplomatic privileges after some recent comments in a letter from the Flemish parliament speaker, Jan Peumans, which included referring to the nine jailed Catalan leaders as “political prisoners.”

In the letter, Peumans also said the detention of the political leaders “proves that the central government in Spain does not fulfil the criteria of a democratic and modern European Union.”

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  • The Catalan foreign minister, Ernest Maragall, with the Flemish minister-president, Geert Bourgeois, in Brussels on October 19, 2018 (by Catalan government)

  • The Catalan foreign minister, Ernest Maragall, with the Flemish minister-president, Geert Bourgeois, in Brussels on October 19, 2018 (by Catalan government)

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