Catalan president Quim Torra has concluded a two-day visit to Slovenia in which he met the country's president, Borut Pahor, in Ljubljana, as well as holding meetings with other Slovenian political and business leaders, among other visits. The trip has served "to break the international silence which, in a way, had covered everything related to Catalonia", said Torra.
On Thursday, Slovenia's president Pahor published a photo and video of the encounter he held with the Catalan president, which he described as an informal meeting. Pahor is the first head of state who has publicly received the president of Catalonia.
Translation: President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, welcomed informal talks with the Catalan Prime Minister, Quim Torra, this morning.
Pahor, who before becoming head of state of the Balkan country had been prime minister and speaker of the Slovenian parliament, met Torra in the Slovenian capital, after the Catalan leader had exchanged written and telephone communication with him over the last week.
According to the Slovenian presidency, the "unofficial" meeting was centred on "the tradition of good cooperation between Slovenia and Catalonia". However, Pahor remarked in a press statement that Ljubljana would not "interfere" in the Catalan situation. "It is an affair of the people of Catalonia and the kingdom of Spain, in the context of efforts to obtain more autonomy in Catalonia".
Also on Thursday, Torra gave a lecture at the Ljubljana city council on "Catalonia: from the Spanish constitutional cage to freedom". He also met with the ex-president of Slovenia, Milan Kucan, and Ljubljana mayor, Zoran Jankovic.
Slovenians in Catalonia in the 1930s
Torra's agenda on Friday included a meeting with investors and businesspeople at Slovenia's Chamber of Commerce, before travelling to the town of Medvode, to visit the memorial to Slovenian war hero Franc Rozman, who had come to Catalonia to fight with the International Brigades in the Spanish civil war. The Catalan president presented a plaque to members of Rozman's family, expressing his recognition and gratitude to both Rozman and the "hundreds of Slovenian brigade members who came to Catalonia to fight fascism", as he shared in a tweet:
V priznanje in zahvalo Francu Rozmanu – Stanetu in več stotim slovenskim prostovoljcem, ki so se prišli v Katalonijo boriti proti fašizmu.— Quim Torra i Pla (@QuimTorraiPla) December 7, 2018
En reconeixement i agraïment a Franc Rozman i als centenars d brigadistes eslovens que van venir a Catalunya a lluitar contra el feixisme. pic.twitter.com/VrskRkKSJo