The Catalan President states in Brussels that the EU views Catalonia’s self-determination “with great respect”

22.04.2013

Source: CNA

artur_mas+vassaillouThe President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, who was on an official visit to Brussels on Monday, recognised that the European Union institutions see Catalonia’s self-determination “with great respect” but they have “some concerns” about “the potential independence” from Spain. Mas, who met with three European Commissioners, emphasised that Catalonia is too significant and relevant “not to be taken into account”. He underlined this to the EU leaders saying that “if Catalonia has a very huge problem, it will not only be Spain’s but also affect the entire EU”. “And they know that”, Mas added. Therefore, the EU “is interested in providing Catalonia with stability” and to “not turn their backs on the Catalans’ majority public opinion” he said. Mas celebrated the fact that at an international level “instead of closing the door, they listen to us”, which “is different” to the Spanish Government’s attitude. In the morning, Mas met the Commissioners for Home Affairs, the Swedish Cecilia Malmström, and with the Commissioner for Education, Culture and Multilingualism, the Cypriot Androulla Vassiliou. In the afternoon, he met with the Commissioner for Energy, the German Günther Oettinger. This is Mas’ sixth visit to the European institutions “in the last two years”, as he underlined in a press conference held at the Catalan Government Delegation’s offices in Brussels. In the afternoon, on the ground floor of the offices, Mas unveiled an exhibition about the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, who designed the Sagrada Familia, the Parc Güell and La Pedrera. Furthermore, he also unveiled a second exhibition at the European Parliament’s building called “Catalan, a language of Europe”. It allows the visitor to discover this relatively unknown language, which is the ninth most used one in the EU and yet it is not an official EU language. In fact, Malmström, who speaks Spanish and a little Catalan, was very interested in both exhibitions. On top of this, Mas also met some Catalan civil servants working in the EU institutions and the President of Flanders, Kris Peeters, with whom he will share an institutional trip in the future.

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