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François Calvet, the French senator behind a manifesto signed by 40 of his colleagues in support of Catalonia, has said that he's received "very strong diplomatic pressure" to withdraw the text.

Speaking yesterday to Catalunya vespre on radio station Catalunya Ràdio, Calvet said that, despite the pressure, he has no intention to back down.

The manifesto was released this weekend. In it, 41 senators from different parties and different regions call for Catalonia's fundamental rights and freedoms to be respected. The text, an unprecedented statement, denounces the repression of democratically-elected Catalan politicians and calls for France and the EU to intervene "to reestablish conditions for dialogue with the aim of finding political solutions to a political problem".

"Our country is a neighbour to Spain and to its great Region, Catalonia, with whom we share a long history", they write in the manifesto, going on to say that "both as Europeans and as Frenchmen and women, we feel concerned about the grave events that have taken place in Catalonia".

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