Catalonia and Flanders cancel joint trip to Morocco due to Spanish pressure

April 29, 2017 11:21 AM | ACN

The Catalan and Flemish governments have decided to suspend a joint commercial mission to Morocco they were due to start on May 7. The trip, which was to be led by Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and Flemish Minister-President, Geert Bourgeois, was cancelled after the Moroccan government “unilaterally” decided that no political leader from the country would meet with the two presidents. Sources from the Catalan Government said to the CNA that Spanish diplomats urged Rabat to avoid political meetings with the Catalan government during the trip. Pugidemont and Bourgeois regretted the decision in a joint press release, warning that it will negatively affect “more than 30 Catalan and Flemish companies” that aimed to improve their commercial relationship with Morocco.

Spanish diplomats uneasy with Catalan debate group at Westminster

April 27, 2017 01:44 PM | ACN

The creation of the debate group on Catalonia in the House of Commons is a thorn in the side of Spanish diplomats. The CNA has received confirmation that a Spanish diplomat met with at least two founders of the group, the Scottish National Party MP, George Kerevan, and the Plaid Cymru MP, Hywel Williams, in order to “explain his point of view” to them on the Catalan issue. In comments to the CNA, Williams said that “it is not up to Spain's diplomatic service” to “advise” members of parliament on the “activities” of the chamber. Even though Williams described the meeting's atmosphere as “extremely cordial, as these things are”, he admitted the diplomat was “clearly against” some of the motions on Catalonia that he had promoted recently.

Spanish diplomats warned French journalist against moderating an event about Catalonia

April 26, 2017 10:51 AM | ACN

Spanish diplomats tried to pressure the moderator of an event with former Catalan president, Artur Mas, in Brussels. The correspondent from the French newspaper Libération, Jean Quatremer, admitted on Tuesday that when he agreed to present the event with the former Catalan president, he received some “news from Madrid”. “They called to ask me why I had accepted, and if I was sure about what I was getting into, and obviously I was,” said the correspondent, stressing that he is not in favor of independence. During the conference, Mas defended the demands for a referendum in Catalonia and said regretfully that “the only” dialogue that the Spanish state offers to the Catalan people is with “the judges”.

Puigdemont denies having paid for meeting Carter and accuses Spain of embarrassing its own diplomats

April 10, 2017 02:30 PM | ACN

The Catalan branch of the Conservative People’s Party (PPC) accused the Catalan Government of having paid for the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont to meet with former US President, Jimmy Carter, last Friday in Atlanta. “This is not only false but indecent,” said Puigdemont in an interview with Catalunya Ràdiothis Monday. Such accusations, made by PPC’s leader Xavier García Albiol and supported by the main opposition party in the Catalan Parliament, Spanish unionist ‘Ciutadans’prove Spain’s mindset, which “insists on treating Catalonia as a colony,” he added. Puigdemont also criticized the aim of the PP and Spanish Government to spread the idea that the Catalan executive “does not have the right”to explain its situation abroad. He said that some Spanish diplomats “feel uncomfortable”with the Spanish executive’s directions, which include “having to criticize”the Catalan Government and “blocking”events and meetings.

"Unacceptable" says Catalan President about Spain’s use of favors to force international opposition

March 24, 2017 01:26 PM | ACN

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, responded angrily to the confirmation from former Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García Margallo that the Spanish Government had pressured other governments to give statements against Catalonia’s pro-independence process. “It’s unacceptable,” he said and called for Margallo to explain which commitments he made, under whose authority and “what favors Spain owes” in exchange for these position statements. According to Puigdemont, Margallo’s confession proves the Catalan Government’s claims that the Spanish State “is doing everything in its power” so that Catalan representatives “are not received, listened to, or taken into account”. “I hope that the Spanish political system is democratically mature enough to demand an explanation from Mr. Margallo in Parliamentary session,” he added.

Spain compelled other governments to oppose Catalonia’s independence

March 23, 2017 01:56 PM | ACN

Former Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García Margallo, admitted that the Spanish Government pressured other governments to give statements against Catalonia’s pro-independence process. “Nobody knows all the favors we owe in exchange for the statements we got,” he said this Wednesday in an interview on Spanish TV. According to Margallo, the normal procedure when a public representative is asked about such a question is to demur, saying it is an “internal matter”.  Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, considered the facts “very serious” and urged the former Minister to give further explanations.

Spain’s promises of dialogue have had “zero” impact at international level, DIPLOCAT says

December 20, 2016 03:17 PM | ACN

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”.

DIPLOCAT to observe parliamentary elections in Macedonia

December 9, 2016 02:44 PM | ACN

The Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat) has been invited by the Electoral Commission of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to observe the early parliamentary elections that will take place on Sunday. A team of eleven observers trained in international electoral observation, who are currently following the final days of the election campaign and the preparations for the vote in the regions of Skopje, the Northeast, the Southwest, and Pegalonia. On Sunday they will observe the actual vote itself, the vote count, the compiling of the results, and the final announcement of the results. This is not the first time that Catalonia’s Public Diplomacy Council sends an observation mission to another country; recently, in October, they travelled to Morocco and so far they have also been present at elections in Uruguay, Costa Rica and Armenia.

Catalan Diplomacy appoints 39 internationally-known citizens to explain Catalonia to the world

November 28, 2016 11:53 AM | ACN

Thirty-nine international recognised names in the field of diplomacy, economics, the arts, sports and research have been appointed members of the recently created Advisory Council of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat). The members of the body, aimed at projecting Catalonia to the world, will take part in it for a period of four years, which can be renewed, and will do so in an altruistic manner. Diplocat decided to set up this body during a plenary session held on Thursday at the Sala Tàpies at the Catalan Government headquarters, Palau de la Generalitat. Some of the most well-known names of the Council are: former US ambassador, Ambler Moss; former Mexican ambassador, Arturo Sarukhan; Representative of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Central Europe, Montserrat Feixas; businesswoman Sol Daurella; musicians Jordi Savall and Josep Carreras; Swedish MEP Bodil Valero; philosopher Josep Ramoneda; chef Carme Ruscalleda and footballer Xavi Hernàndez


Catalonia's push for independence should be regarded as a "peaceful and democratic" example

December 10, 2015 07:24 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

International experts from different fields debated on independence processes in the EU at the conference "Self-determination Processes: Challenge or Opportunity for the EU?" organised by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) and the Centre for European Studies of Jagiellonian University in Krakow. According to DIPLOCAT's Secretary General, Albert Royo, the Catalan process is a "unique opportunity for the EU" to show that a "territorial conflict could be solved in a peaceful and democratic way". Professor of History at Pompeu Fabra University Fernando Guirao added that it would be “absurd” to talk about an automatic expulsion from the EU and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe Michal Natorski noted that "all secession processes are negotiated and finally accepted if they come to terms in a democratic way". Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to Austria, Adam Casals, also attended the conference.

Spain’s embassy “obstructed” Catalan companies’ commercial mission to China

November 25, 2015 08:23 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Catalan Minister for Agriculture Jordi Ciuraneta claimed that Spanish diplomacy “obstructed”the commercial mission to China of twenty Catalan companies from the meat, fish and citrus fruit sectors. According to Ciuraneta, Spain’s embassy interfered to “cancel”two important meetings between Catalan businessmen, representatives from the Catalan government and several Chinese organisations responsible for authorising the Catalan companies’exports, scheduled for this Wednesday. Ciuraneta considered it “institutional aggression”that “damages”the Catalan companies who travelled to China and their commercial mission. Catalan liberal party CDC MEP Ramon Tremosa stated that Spain’s executive “contradicts the European policies regarding the opening of new markets”and asked the European Commission to investigate what he described as “Spain’s diplomacy boycott”.

EU would negotiate with an independent Catalonia to avoid “the collapse of the euro”, says Catalan diplomat

August 21, 2015 06:58 PM | ACN

The Secretary General of the Diplocat, Albert Royo, expects the European Union and Spain to embark on discussions about Catalonia’s independence and its membership of the EU and the Eurozone if pro-independence groups win a “democratic mandate” in the next election, to be held on the 27th of September. During a conference at the Catalan Summer University in Prada, Royo warned that “it’s in no one’s interest” for Catalonia to be expelled from the EU. The diplomat emphasised that Catalonia represents 2.1% of the European GDP, “more than Finland or Greece”, so its expulsion could potentially lead to “the collapse of the euro”.