Spain’s promises of dialogue have had “zero” impact at international level, DIPLOCAT says
Spain’s so-called ‘dialogue operation’ with Catalonia has had “zero” impact at international level. This statement was made this Tuesday by the Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat), Albert Royo, during the conference ‘Catalan Public Diplomacy in a changing world’. The talk was organised by the Federation of Internationally Recognized Catalan Organisations (FOCIR, going by its Catalan initials). According to Royo, what is transcending abroad is the “persecution of 400 Catalan elected officials being carried out by Spain”. “Until now the dialogue operation has not materialised and been translated into concrete facts, we neither see it in Catalonia nor abroad”, he added. Furthermore, he warned that with the dialogue promises Spain is “paving the way to legitimate future coercive measures [against Catalonia] at international level”.
Barcelona (CNA).- The Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat), Albert Royo, believes that the so-called ‘dialogue operation’, launched by the Spanish Government to provide an image of negotiation with Catalonia, is having “zero” impact at international level. “Instead, people abroad are realising about the persecution of 400 elected officials being carried out by Spain”. “This is transcending”, added Royo this Tuesday during the talk ‘Catalan Public Diplomacy in a changing world’, organised by the Federation of Internationally Recognized Catalan Organisations (FOCIR, going by its Catalan initials). The head of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia, a public-private consortium that has been in operation since 2012, lamented that Spain’s campaign has the hidden aim of legitimating at an international level “future coercive measures” against Catalonia.
“Until now the dialogue operation has not materialised and been translated into concrete facts, we neither see it in Catalonia nor abroad”, said Royo. In this vein, the Secretary General of Diplocat referred to the visit of the Spanish Vice President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, to Barcelona on the 7th of December. Royo lamented that the politician chose to “meet with the opposition, instead of meeting with institutional representatives”. Saénz de Santamaría held a meeting with the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) leader, Miquel Iceta, and with the liberal unionist Ciutadans (C’s) leader, Inés Arrimadas.
European Parliaments’ reaction to judicialisation of politics
Contrary to Spain’s behaviour, “we begin to see [European] Parliaments reacting” against the judicialisation of politics, Royo said. They have shown their disagreement with the prosecution of former Catalan President, Artur Mas; former Catalan Ministers, Francesc Homs, Irene Rigau and Joana Ortega; and more recently with the persecution of Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, for allowing the pro-independence roadmap to be put on vote last July.
Specifically, last week, a group of 15 MPs from the Scottish National Party (SNP), the Plaid Cymru, the Irish Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and the Labour Party tabled an ‘Early Day Motion’ in the House of Commons expressing concern over the prosecution of Forcadell. The Foreign Affairs spokesperson of Irish Republicans Sinn Féin, Seán Crowe, called for the Spanish executive to “reconsider” its position “even at this late stage” and “stop the proceedings” against the Catalan politician.
“Our British colleagues pull their hair out when they see this”, stated Royo. “I am convinced that if the judicial offensive and the persecution of elected officials by the state continues, in the following months we will see more parliaments reacting”, he added. According to Royo, Parliaments around Europe know that if they “pass it by” they are “setting a very dangerous precedent”.
“They will not sit back and do nothing, despite the international environment, which has gotten complicated in the recent months and over the last two years”, said Royo referring to Brexit, the unexpected election of Trump, the refugee crisis, the economic crisis and the numerous recent terrorist attacks. “We are denouncing a political conflict that, fortunately, has no violent consequences”, he added.