'We call for release of political prisoners,' says EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform spokesperson
Italian MEP Eleonora Forenza criticizes “lack of action” from Europe in interview with Catalan News
The EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform is made up of members of the European Parliament. It was set up in response to the ongoing situation in Catalonia. On Friday, it made a presentation in Barcelona. In order to learn more about this organization and its objectives, we speak with Italian MEP Eleonora Forenza. She is also member of the Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left, for which she was chosen as European presidential candidate in 2016. In Italy, she is also currently spokesperson for communications and culture in the Communist Refoundation Party. The EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform consists of more than 30 MEPs from various member states, including Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, France, Sweden, Slovenia and more.
What are the aims of the EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform?
The aims of the platform are to build a dialogue between European institutions and Catalan people and Catalan institutions. We call for the release of political prisoners, and we ask not to extradite people that are in exile. We want to build a dialogue, we want to build a bridge between Europe and Catalan people and institutions.
How do you assess the European Union’s attitude towards the Catalan crisis in the past few months?
There has been a lack of action in condemning the repression on October 1, in condemning the credible possibility of having people in prison for their political opinion. It is unbelievable it is punished as a crime, organizing a referendum. So, our aim as a platform is also to make our duty as a European political representative, and try to overwhelm the lack of role of the European institution.
Do you think this is an internal affair, as top European heads still claim?
I think that the Catalan issue speaks about the lack of democracy in all Europe. It's unbelievable that we have political prisoners in 2018 in the middle of Europe, just for their opinion, just for their political battle. I think that all Europe is trying to transform political problems into penal problems, repression problems. As such, political opinions are a crime, solidarity is becoming a crime. We should fight against this Europe and build another Europe.
Is there still time for the EU to mediate?
I think so. We are still on time, and we should use this time to make it clear that Catalan people have the same rights as other European citizens.