Esquerra parliamentary group chair on the war in Ukraine: “Catalonia is a welcoming country of peace. Our response is commitment to human rights.”

President Pere Aragonès lays out the economic and social measures being developed by the Catalan administration and urges the Spanish government and the European institutions to act to curb rocketing energy prices.

The humanitarian crisis stemming from the war in Ukraine is at the heart of parliamentary debate. After Catalonia’s Generalitat government met with all the parliamentary groups—except far-right Vox—on Monday to share the administration’s initiatives regarding the repercussions of the war, President Pere Aragonès resumed the debate in today’s session. “We are focusing on humanitarian assistance and the economic and social consequences,” he said.

In this regard, Esquerra’s parliamentary group chair Josep Maria Jové assured in his intervention at question time that “the management of these consequences is a responsibility that we mean to take on, because Catalonia is and has always been a welcoming country.” He added that “the people have once again shown this, day in and day out.”

At this time, there are some 10,000 Ukrainian refugees who have been taken in by the reception system established with the State and the Red Cross, or in the accommodations set up with the local administrations in Catalonia. About a thousand Ukrainian children and youths fleeing the war have also been allocated in schools.

Catalonia is a country of peace,” said Mr Jové, who spoke out strongly against the war. “We clearly condemn the aggression perpetrated by the Putin regime. We express our solidarity with the Ukrainian people and call for an end to the war. This war, and all wars,” he specified. He recalled that “the answer must always be commitment to human rights, democracy, non-discrimination, peace and international law.”

  Esquerra parliamentary group chair on the war in Ukraine: “Catalonia is a welcoming country of peace. Our response is commitment to human rights.”

In addition, President Aragonès laid out the economic and social measures that are being developed in regard to the rocketing energy prices, and stressed that he hopes that this week the European Council will finally approve the decoupling of gas from the setting of electricity prices. He also pointed out that short-term measures depend largely on the European Commission and the Spanish government. Mr Aragonés recalled that in the medium and longer term, we must stake on renewables and new energy sources, such as green hydrogen. “That is the path that this government is taking,” said the President.

Over 4 years of repression

During the plenary session, denunciations were also voiced against the repression of independence, recalling one of the toughest days for the movement, March 23, 2018, when Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Dolors Bassa, Raül Romeva and Carme Forcadell were all unjustly imprisoned. In his intervention during question time, Esquerra parliamentary group chair Josep Maria Jové dedicated a few words to the party’s Secretary General Marta Rovira, who is now in her fourth year in exile. “The distance is no shorter, Marta, but the time will come, and you will return home. And we will embrace you a free woman!”

The President of the Generalitat also conveyed his message: “We hope that you can return in freedom, because that would mean that we will have begun on path to resolving the political conflict between Catalonia and Spain.”