The Minister for Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Alfred Bosch, has met with some twenty of the 41 French senators who signed a petition last March calling for “respect for fundamental rights and freedoms in Catalonia”.
Bosch thanked the French senators for supporting “the cause of democracy, fundamental rights and freedom, and for advocating a democratic solution to the Catalan issue”. The minister said they have won “clear support” from all parties represented in the French Senate.
“Sánchez will have to listen to the international outcry calling on him to pursue dialogue,” said Bosch, adding that the Catalan government intends to “send a message to the world and to the Spanish government”.
The minister called on Pedro Sánchez to “immediately launch a process of dialogue and negotiation to find a democratic solution to the conflict”.
He also made reference to the political prisoners and the verdicts expected to be handed down by the Supreme Court in the coming days, stressing that the only way forward is a solution based on dialogue and the defence of fundamental rights and freedoms.
Simon Sutour, a socialist senator, said: “We’re proud to show our support at such an important moment, when two years have passed since the 1 October referendum, and just days ahead of the verdicts in mid-October.”
“Our concern, as French, and especially European, citizens is to ensure that democracy, freedom and the ability of peoples to express themselves freely are respected in Europe,” said Sutour.
In the petition signed by the French senators, they decry the repression that Catalan political representatives are suffering and call on the French government and the European Union to intervene to re-establish dialogue between the Spanish state and Catalonia. They also call for rights and freedoms to be respected in Catalonia.
The petition was launched by François Calvet, Ronan Dantec, André Gattolin, Pierre Ouzoulias and Simon Sutour after 130 mayors of localities in Northern Catalonia (part of France) signed a manifesto calling for respect for fundamental rights and freedoms in Catalonia.
Bosch will also meet with a number of the 52 French MPs who signed a manifesto in August, published in Le Journal du Dimanche, calling for an end to “arbitrary measures against Catalan political leaders”. In the text of the manifesto, they voiced their concern and disapproval of what they called an “attack on freedoms and the exercise of democracy”.