The Catalan government has taken another step to restore normality after the end of central government intervention. The foreign affairs, institutional relations and transparency minister, Ernest Maragall, has announced in Brussels this Tuesday that they will "immediately" reopen the government's delegations abroad in certain large European cities and the United States.
Specifically, Maragall said that Catalonia will again be represented in London, Rome, Berlin, Geneva and Washington DC. According to the minister, the first specific details could come next week with the delegations becoming operational again in "two or three weeks" at most.
In a press conference held at the Catalan government's building in Brussels, the only office abroad kept open despite Spanish government intervention, Maragall explained that their intention is for the staff heading the delegations to remain the same. In other words, the "majority" of those fired by Rajoy could get their jobs back.
According to Maragall, the deployment of the restored foreign affairs ministry is planned to take place in three phases. The first will be what he calls the most urgent, namely the reopening of these first delegations.
The second, "consolidation" phase is to include "new visibility" on the international stage with delegations, correspondents and/or "special envoys" in Paris, Portugal, the Balkans, the Nordic countries and even outside of Europe. This phase will come in the next two or three months.
The final, third phase will encompass "expansion", to involve opening new offices and bringing in new figures in places like the Mediterranean, the Middle East, the Maghreb, Asia and Latin America. This last phase will have a deadline of six months.
Restoring Romeva's work
One of the priorities for Quim Torra's new government is to reinstate the work abroad which the former cabinet had carried out, led by minister Raül Romeva. In this vein, the government agreed on Tuesday to halt the closure of Diplocat, ahead of today's announcement.
Reactivem les delegacions del govern. Recuperem presència internacional amb el compromís de defensar l'interès dels catalans arreu. Refem les destrosses del 155 amb la voluntat d'anar més enllà amb un mandat democràtic republicà clar. Continuem!https://t.co/Qkxn3VdH73— Quim Torra i Pla (@QuimTorraiPla) 14 de junio de 2018
Translation: We're reactivating the government's delegations. We're recuperating [our] international presence with the commitment to defend the interest of Catalans everywhere. We're undoing the damage of [article] 155 with the wish to go further with a clear democratic, republican mandate. We continue!
The Spanish government made one of the main objectives of its intervention in Catalonia the closure of the Catalan delegations abroad, believing them to be working to spread the independence process.