• Catalonia

The president of the Left group in the European Parliament has been in Madrid today to call for dialogue and to show solidarity with 12 senior members of the Catalan independence movement accused of being complicit in the region’s failed bid to secede from Spain in late 2017.

Alongside GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer at the Spanish Supreme Court were Spanish MEP Miguel Urbán, the Mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau, lawyer Jaume Asens Llodrà and Greens/EFA MEPs, Ernest Urtasun and Ska Keller.

The trials began on 11st February and are expected to last several months.

Speaking to the media outside the courthouse, Zimmer said:

“It’s high time the Spanish government begins political dialogue with the Catalans instead of abusing the judicial system. This conflict in Catalonia cannot escalate any further. In addition, the EU must also assume its responsibilities.”

“Article 1 of the UN Social Pact guarantees the people’s right to self-determination. The Spanish government must therefore respect this right.”

“Instead of putting Catalan politicians on trial, the conflict can only be solved politically,” she said.

Meanwhile, Urbán (Podemos, Spain) said: “We wanted to be here today to show our solidarity with the 12 people on trial. We disagree with the judicialisation of politics. The Catalan problem must be addressed through political means and not in a courthouse”.

“Political solutions and concrete proposals need to be put on the table. We all need to be courageous and brave, and to be able to talk about everything freely”, he added.

“Both Belgian and German judges have already said that neither rebellion nor sedition took place. We therefore ask for all of the accused to be acquitted and discharged”.

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