On Wednesday, the acting president of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, and Vice President Neus Munté, held a meeting with the Catalan Working Committee for Refugees together with representatives from various refugee aid organisations, to obtain a first-hand account of the measures taken by the entities to host refugees and the specific tasks currently being carried out in Catalonia.
In the post-meeting press conference, the Catalan Vice President and Minister for Social Welfare and Family, Neus Munté, assured that, despite not knowing the exact number of internally displaced persons set to arrive, “Catalonia is entirely prepared to host these refugees”. In this regard, Munté called for “patience and calmness” because they will come “in a gradual and progressive way, but with many difficulties” and their “confidentiality, privacy and security” must be respected completely.
During the press conference, Neus Munté highlighted the operational “networking” implemented in conjunction with the country’s administrations, social entities and the various institutions with regards to the preparation, reception, housing and resettlement of the new arrivals, as well as their integration into Catalan society. After insisting on the protection of their human rights, the Vice President maintained that Catalonia “is a country with a moral obligation”, recalling that “historically” the country has itself “suffered a full transversal exile which has affected so many individuals throughout our history”.
The meeting, held at the Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona, was intended to obtain first-hand information of the specific measures taken by entities working with the refugees. During the ensuing press conference, Munté explained that due to the “total overload
” experienced by refugee organisations, the Catalan Government will request the Spanish Executive to increase the number of information centres and asylum applications issued by the State government. The Minister for Social Welfare and Family also noted the “clear willingness
” of the Catalan Executive to implement action and fulfil the commitments drawn in the Plan for International Protection.