Politics 07/09/2021

Meritxell Serret: "If I can, I will go to the demonstration against the airport expansion"

2 min

BarcelonaThis eleventh of September will mark six months since former minister Meritxell Serret returned from her exile in Belgium. She spent more than three years in Brussels, where, apart from being one of the voices of the pro-independence leaders who decided to go into exile, she also served as the Generalitat's delegate at the European Union. "I risked returning because the other option was worse for me," she explained on Tuesday, taking stock, in an interview with Antoni Bassas. Serret, currently a deputy spokeswoman for ERC in Parliament, has asked that the independence movement stop contrasting the prison that some of its leaders suffered with the exile that some of them still suffer. "The life of an exile is like a glass prison, you have no horizon", she concluded.

The former councillor recalled the weeks before making the decision to return. Her priority was to "avoid giving a picture of imprisonment" to the State, so she confirmed her return when her lawyer gave her certain guarantees. "He was very sure that there was no basis for pre-trial detention," he said, and so it was, and denied that there was any pact with the Spanish courts - "I have not agreed anything," she said. In addition, she has assured that the other exiles who did not follow her path understood her decision perfectly: "When I spoke with them, everything was positive messages".

Serret, now at the helm ERC's parliamentary group, has an open case before the Supreme Court for embezzlement and disobedience, which was reactivated when she decided to return to Catalonia. While waiting for the outcome, she has adopted a relevant role in Esquerra, a party that now faces the debate on the expansion of the airport. The ex-councillor has assured that it is compatible that her party -and Junts- agreed on an investment for El Prat and, at the same time, it considers going to the demonstration against the enlargement that several social organisations are preparing on the 19th. "If I can, I will go," she said. In fact, she explained that the Republican parliamentary group is directly opposed to how the project is being proposed. Thus, she said that the Republicans demand "rethinking" investments so they do not have any impact either on La Ricarda lagoon or, globally, for agriculture. These two aspects are not part of the plan developed by Aena.

Dialogue table

The interview was carried out less than ten days because the dialogue table is held. Serret has defended the negotiating strategy which her party is committed to and has called on the Spanish government to take the table seriously. "There has to be the maximum representation of the two sides," she stressed, and has demanded that Pedro Sanchez is not absent from the meeting. The deputy has also explained that her party has adapted the strategy after the lessons learnt in autumn 2017. "ERC is as eager for independence, but we have spent a lot of sleepless nights to understand what happened in 2017", has resolved. On Catalonia Day, she expresses a wish: "I hope for a positive environment that reinforces our strength as a movement".

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