The former president of the Generalitat and current Junts MEP, Carles Puigdemont, and the former vice president and ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras, met again this Wednesday in Waterloo (Belgium) three years and ten months later. The two independence leaders had not seen each other since October 27, 2017, when Puigdemont left for Belgium after the unsuccessful unilateral declaration of independence and Junqueras entered preventive prison. The differences between the two leaders were already verified in the sovereign autumn of 2017 and became more acute afterwards. It was the expresident himself who gave an account in a book of the turbulence with his vice-president – whom he came to label as “unfair” – during his time in the Government.
To this day ERC and Junts share the Government again, but their positions on the independence strategy to follow remain distant. “If we initiate a confrontation with the State under the current conditions, we will lose,” Junqueras replied to Puigdemont last September to vindicate ERC’s commitment to dialogue with the Government against the unilateral path demanded by Junts.
Junqueras, visiting Strasbourg and Waterloo this week after regaining his freedom thanks to the pardon granted by the central Executive, already lowered his expectations for his meeting with Puigdemont on Tuesday. According to Junqueras, “no reconciliation is necessary” with Puigdemont despite his political disagreements in recent years since he “always” has shown a “willingness” to understand.
Although the initial intention of Junqueras was to meet with Puigdemont in Strasbourg, finally the reunion of the two independence leaders has been in Waterloo. Shortly after ERC announced the visit to the headquarters of the European Parliament, JxCat sources assured that Puigdemont would not go because he did not intervene in the session of the European Parliament, although until now he had always spoken in all plenary sessions.
Since the former president left for Belgium and his number two in the Government was imprisoned, the only contact that Puigdemont and Junqueras had maintained had been by correspondence or by telephone during the republican’s prison leave. Until this Wednesday, when they will hold a meeting in Waterloo accompanied by the rest of the ERC pardoned prisoners: the former president of the Parliament Carme Forcadell and the former councilors Dolors Bassa and Raül Romeva.
The former Republican councilwoman Meritxell Serret, who returned to Spain voluntarily last April and appeared before the Supreme Court, has also attended Waterloo; the ex-minister and MEP of Junts Toni Comín and the rapper Valtonyc.