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Exiled Catalan political leader Marta Rovira has attended an early celebration of Catalonia's national day, the Diada, in the Swiss capital of Bern. Rovira, secretary general of the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), was joined by the Catalan government's representative in Switzerland, Manuel Manonelles, along with local politicians who support Catalonia's right to self-determination, such as Monika Diethelm, leader of the Swiss liberal party FDP.Die Liberalen in the Sankt Gallen canton.

It is a rare appearance at an event for the exiled ERC politician, who been largely out of public view recently, although on Friday, she had published a series of tweets on the anniversary of last year's key parliamentary debates to pass the laws for the Catalan independence referendum.

Translation: Today we have held our demonstration for the Catalan National Day in Bern, in the expectation that next Tuesday we will fill Barcelona! — Marta Rovira Vergés

Saturday's event, organized by the local Swiss branch of the pro-independence civil group ANC, was held at the Swiss capital's Bahnhofplatz. After speeches, pianist Bernat Català and tenor Fabio Antonello offered a concert for those present, including pieces by Toldrà and Tosti and the emblematic Catalan song Cant dels ocells; there was a poetry recital by Vanessa Tor, presenting verse by Pere Quart and Carles Riba. The singing of the Catalan anthem Els Segadors and Lluís Llach's L'estaca closed the occasion.

Meanwhile, Catalan president in exile Carles Puigdemont is also in Switzerland. On this latest journey away from his Belgian residence, he arrived on Saturday to attend the Popular Festival for the Republic and Canton of the Jura - as it is known - as a guest of honour of the government of this territory, a Swiss canton with a long history of fighting for its own political status.

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