The Minister for Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Alfred Bosch, participated yesterday in a conference on Catalan history and current events organised by the University of Vienna. Dr Max Doppelbauer, a lecturer at the Institute for Romance Studies of the University of Vienna, took part along with the minister, who is on an official trip to Central Europe.
“Catalans are neither more nor less than anyone else. We’re a prosperous and peaceful society,” said Bosch at the start of his talk before an audience of university students, experts and academics. The minister said Catalan society is defined by its commitment to defending peace, democracy and freedoms, and stressed that “the only possible way to defend the freedoms of Catalans in 21st-century Europe is through dialogue”.
For Bosch, the right to self-determination “shouldn’t be seen as a problem, but as a solution to the aspiration to be free”. Referring to the Vienna Convention of the mid-20th century, the foreign minister stressed the importance of treaties and diplomacy, which he said provide the framework for stability and peace in present-day Europe. In this context, he said that “imprisoning Catalan political and social leaders doesn’t help”, and that the Supreme Court ruling is not just a Catalan and Spanish affair, because it “violates fundamental rights and criminalises any kind of political dissent”.