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Party proposes inviting Puigdemont to speak in Flemish Parliament

Pro-independence N-VA wants to hear the deposed Catalan president speak about the political situation in Catalonia

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10 January 2018 08:06 PM

by

ACN | Brussels

Carles Puigdemont might soon speak in the Flemish chamber of representatives. The pro-independence Flemish party N-VA asked him to speak at the Foreign Affairs committee of their Parliament to talk about the political situation in Catalonia.

The party had already made a similar proposal in September, but they would have then hosted the Minister of Foreign Affairs Raül Romeva, now deposed by the Spanish government.  However, as Flemish N-VA MP Karl Vanlouwe explained, after the October 1 referendum and the events that took place (such as the incarceration of the dismissed government, including Romeva himself) made the minister’s appearance impossible. “This is why we proposed hearing Puigdemont,” stated Vanlouwe.

The N-VA party has however not yet received the rest of the parliamentary group’s response, which could accept or reject the proposal “probably” next week, the politician said. The MP also specified that no official invitation or proposal has been made from the Flemish Parliament towards Puigdemont.

"It's logical for us to hear both sides," says Vanlouwe 

Vanlouwe also noted that his party additionally proposed to invite Spain’s ambassador in Belgium, Cecilia Yuste, to speak in their hemicycle. The politician specified that, should both proposals be accepted, they would not be carried out on the same day. “It’s logical for us to be able to hear both sides,” he expressed. There is already a consensus for Yuste’s speech, but an official response has not been given yet for that of Puigdemont. “When N-VA proposed to invite Raül Romeva, the rest of the parties accepted it,” noted the MP.

“Anyone can make a proposal,” explained Vanlouwe about the procedures of the Flemish Parliament. “Normally the debate happens behind closed doors and they try to get a consensus, but if there isn’t one, a vote happens,” he elaborated.  In that eventuality, a majority of MPs in the Foreign Affairs Committee must vote in favor for the proposal to be approved. 

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  • Flemish N-VA MP Karl Vanlouwe in Brussels on January 10 2018 (by Blanca Blay)