Carles Puigdemont, president of Catalonia, and Marta Rovira, secretary general of ERC (Catalan Republican Left), have today in Brussels discussed the common front the pro-independence parties will present towards the 21st December election.
Rovira, who has travelled to the Belgian capital the day after the president confirmed that he will lead a candidacy under the name Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) met this morning with ministers Toni Comín and Meritxell Serret; she then had lunch with Puigdemont and, in the afternoon, held another meeting with the president and all four ministers. The afternoon's meeting took place in the headquarters of EFA (European Free Alliance), the European group ERC belongs to.
At the end of the meeting, the ERC leader announced that there is an agreement for the pro-independence candidacies to present a common front and that they are studying the best way to do so. "We will make a political front so that we share our political strategy and it's coordinated," she said.
After it proved impossible to agree on a single, joint, pro-independence candidacy, as Puigdemont argued for, the movement will be represented by three electoral lists on 21st December: Junts per Catalunya, ERC and CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy). Now, the desire is to construct a program of essential points, according to sources with knowledge of the meeting who emphasised the agreement established on this point.
"There always is and always will be political coordination. We've arrived where we are together and we're aware that we have to continue together. We have to find the best way to continue together and the best way to coordinate between ourselves", said Rovira, who underlined the wish to widen the electoral space and "continue adding [to it]".
Currently, the plan is to study the way to realise the proposal, although time is very short and communication between all the parties involved is complex, with part of the Catalan government in exile and the rest in prison.
Rovira took advantage of the trip to take an interest in the situation and mood of the exiled members of the government and to find out their views on the hearing they will have on Friday with a Belgian judge. The members of the government explained that they are optimistic about it, especially Comín. For her part, the ERC leader has passed on details of the conversations she has had with the vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, and the imprisoned ministers.
Last week, it was Marta Pascal, PDeCAT's (Catalan European Democratic Party) coordinator, and Artur Mas, the party's president, who visited Puigdemont and the ministers. On Friday, meanwhile, it was CUP members Anna Gabriel and Benet Salellas who met with them in the Belgian capital.