The former president of the Catalan Generalitat Carles Puigdemont, on the run in Belgium for three and a half years, ruled out this Thursday that he will participate in any way at the dialogue table between La Moncloa and the Government. “It is a table between two governments,” he replied, during a press conference in the European Parliament, when asked about the ERC’s attempt to have its president, Oriol Junqueras, in prison for sedition and embezzlement.
“I am not in the Catalan government and neither do I protect the Government, nor do I want to want to protect or have my gesture be interpreted as a protection of the president [de la Generalitat, Pere] Aragonès ”, added Puigdemont, who appeared together with fellow MEPs from Junts Antoni Comín and Clara Ponsatí. “It is obvious that we are not disqualified from doing politics for anyone except for Spain,” said the former president.
Puigdemont thus broke the silence he had maintained since the Catalan elections of February 14, and spoke in public about the trio of measures with which the Spanish Government intends to bring positions closer to the Generalitat of Catalonia: the dialogue table, the pardons to the prisoners of the procés and the reform of the crime of sedition. The independence leader, settled in Waterloo (Belgium) since his escape after the declaration of independence on October 27, 2017 and prosecuted in absentia by the Supreme Court, considered the pardons as a “particular, personal solution”, which, however, said , “Is not part of the recipe for a political solution.” In any case, he denied that the granting of the grace measure will demobilize the independence movement in general and affect its international strategy, as secessionist leaders such as the president of the ANC, Elisenda Paluzie, have warned. “The one who needs to be pardoned is the Spanish State, he knows perfectly well that he cannot argue what nine people are doing serving sentences of 9 to 13 years in prison for organizing demonstrations and a referendum.”
In Puigdemont’s opinion, the pardons show that it is Spain that needs to turn the page to “stop having political prisoners”, but has demanded “with all firmness” an amnesty law, which in his view is the only possible formula to end the ” repression ”of“ thousands of people ”. “The amnesty law is political and it is politics that must resolve,” he proposed.
The pro-independence MEP has acknowledged that under Pedro Sánchez’s government the tone and words have changed, but not the facts. “This is not a time for beautiful words, but for beautiful deeds,” he expressed and asked the Prime Minister for the “courage” so that the proposals, such as the dialogue table, stop being a “rhetorical statement” and become “disruptive and transformative” measures.
Puigdemont has described the possible reform of the crime of sedition that La Moncloa values as “propaganda” of which “everyone talks but nobody has seen anything.” And he has asked to see in what exactly these measures are specified.
The three MEPs have confirmed that, following the decision of the General Court of the Union to restore their immunity until ruling on the merits of their withdrawal, they will attend the plenary session held in Strasbourg (France) next week, now that European justice removes the risk of being arrested and extradited. But traveling to Spain is more complicated. Comín explained that they consider that the right to continue to exercise as MEPs “on equal terms” with their colleagues in the hemicycle “throughout the European Union except in Spain, which continues to disrespect our immunity, has been restored to them” provisionally. ” . Ponsatí, when questioned about whether they will cross the Pyrenees, has responded: “The threat of political persecution ad intra Spanish borders have not diminished ”.