- The President and Minister Serret met this afternoon with the former President of the European Commission in Bologna
event_note Press Release
The President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, met this afternoon with the former Italian Prime Minister and former President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, in Bologna, during his official visit to Emilia-Romagna. The President took advantage of the meeting to thank Prodi “for his position in favour of negotiation in the most complicated moments of the repression” by the Spanish State, coinciding with 1 October referendum.
As the President of the Generalitat explained to the media afterwards, the meeting had served to discuss “European and global policy issues”, as well as “the political situation in Catalonia and Spain”. “We stressed the need for an amnesty as a starting point from which to open a political phase based on negotiation and in which Catalonia can freely decide its future”, said the President.
The President of the Generalitat said that Prodi is “a good friend of Catalonia” and “a person committed to the future of Europe and the Mediterranean”. In line with the aims of President Aragonès’s trip to Italy, he assured that Prodi “has asked us to strengthen links between Catalonia and Emilia-Romagna, between Barcelona and Bologna and also between the south and north of the Mediterranean”.
The President was accompanied by the Catalan Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret Aleu, and the delegate of the Government of the Generalitat to Italy, Luca Bellizzi. President Aragonès’s official visit to Emilia-Romagna continues tomorrow with a visit to the University of Bologna, where he will meet with the rector, Giovanni Molari, to discuss the Catalan language courses taught there and the active projects the University shares with Catalan universities, among other topics. He will then meet with the Regional Minister for Education, Universities, Research and Digital Agenda of the Emilia-Romagna Government, Paola Salomoni. In the afternoon, he will visit the Policlinico Sant’Orsola hospital to learn about technological and innovation projects applied to healthcare.
Romano Prodi is one of the most important figures in Italian politics in recent decades. He was Prime Minister of Italy from 1996 to 1998 and from 2006 to 2008, and one of the most prominent leaders of Italy’s centre-left. He headed several parties and alliances, and was one of the founders of the Partito Democratico (PD).
Furthermore, he is also an important figure in the construction of the European Union, serving as President of the European Commission between 1999 and 2004, when the euro came into force. In 2017, he signed a manifesto calling for dialogue between Catalonia and the Spanish State. During the meeting, the president gave him a copy of Incerta Glòria by Joan Sales translated into Italian.