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Switzerland willing to mediate between Catalonia and Spain

The government of the Alpine country is in contact with both parties, according to Swiss radio broadcaster RTS

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06 October 2017 12:22 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is prepared to build a platform for dialogue between the Spanish government and Catalan authorities, according to an announcement made by Swiss public radio broadcaster RTS this Friday.

Members of Switzerland’s government have stated that they are in contact with both parties, refusing to comment on the progress of negotiations so as not to compromise the process.

Despite Switzerland’s offer of mediation, Spanish president Mariano Rajoy remains steadfast in his refusal to set up a dialogue with the Catalan government. “We will not deal with those who blackmail the state in such a brutal way,” Rajoy said.

With this in mind, MEP Esteban González Pons, Vice President of the European People's Party highlighted during a debate on Catalonia in the European Parliament, that it “is up to Spain to talk with Spain,” remarking that there is no need for mediators.

  • “We will not deal with those who blackmail the state in such a brutal way”

    Mariano Rajoy · Spanish president

Switzerland has been following closely the situation in Catalonia since last September, when twelve deputies from the Swiss Parliament sent a letter to the Spanish government with the request that "sanity be recovered,” urging “dialogue with the democratically elected authorities in Catalonia.”

The signatories of the letter emphasized that “the right of the Catalan people to determine their own future must be respected,” adding that “the show of force of the current Spanish government” goes against Swiss values, which are based on “the culture of dialogue, democracy, and the search for consensus.”

On the day of the October 1 referendum, a Swiss delegation was present in Catalonia to oversee the development of the vote. The group of observers was invited, together with 200 more people from all over the world, by the Association of Municipalities for Independence.

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  • Carles Puigdemont and Mariano Rajoy sat together during mass at Sagrada Familia after Barcelona terrorist attacks (by ACN)

  • Carles Puigdemont and Mariano Rajoy sat together during mass at Sagrada Familia after Barcelona terrorist attacks (by ACN)