• Terrorism. Thus Josu Ternera negotiated with the Government of Zapatero the benefits for ETA prisoners
  • Catal.Puigdemont proposes to the State to create a "negotiation platform" with an international mediator

The former president of the Generalitat, the fugitive Carles Puigdemont, has knocked on the doors of the Henry Dunant Foundation , the Swiss- based institution that mediated between ETA and the Government of President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero at the request and by election of the terrorist organization . As EL MUNDO has learned, last May a meeting was held in Geneva with representatives of the foundation in which Bildu's secretary general, Arnaldo Otegi, Marta Rovira, general secretary of ERC were present - also escaped to the Swiss country - and, on behalf of the former president , the historian Josep Lluís Alay , one of the four arrested in Germany with Puigdemont when he tried to get rid of the search and seizure order that the Supreme Court had issued against him.

According to the sources consulted, what Carles Puigdemont was looking for immediately is that Henry Dunant intermediated before the Spanish Executive to find a solution to the situation of the political prisoners and to solve the case of those who, like him and Marta Rovira, are fleeing . In general, it raised a way out of the political conflict between Catalonia and the Government.

The implementation of any negotiation process or the establishment of contacts could cause both Puigdemont and Rovira to avoid jail - what would happen if the foundation granted them the same status as Josu Ternera ; and it would allow them both to offer their supporters, who still advocate the establishment of Catalan independence unilaterally, a groundbreaking plan.

The meeting took place two months after Carmen Calvo mentioned the rapporteur

Indeed, this meeting took place in May and last Saturday the former president announced his intention to seek a "negotiation with the Government of Spain" in which there was an international mediator as well as the "political unit" of the Catalan independentistas. What he did not reveal is that he had already chosen Henry Dunant and that he had gone with Otegi. Puigdemont knows that, in principle, one of the requirements of the foundation is that the other interlocutor, the Government, approves and that is why he has made the announcement. Perhaps with the expectation that the Pedro Sánchez Executive will recover that offer to appoint a rapporteur made by Vice President Carmen Calvo last February. The meeting at Henry Dunant came just two months later.

The presence of Arnaldo Otegi, meanwhile, broadens the scope and relevance of the meeting. Otegi may have been the person who has simply contacted both parties because he knows the members of the Henry Dunant and has the experience of the ETA negotiation process in which he intervened. But its mere presence opens the door to what is already a Catalan independence front that goes and presents grievances to an institution dedicated to the «conflict mediation», becomes a joint front against the State of Catalan independence and Basque. The leader of EH Bildu, in any case, with his intervention, fuels his aspiration to be considered a "craftsman of peace."

THE LEADER AND HIS GUARDS BACK. Otegi travels frequently to Waterloo and Switzerland always escorted by Muñoz. Above, at the Geneva airport on August 29, destination Bilbao, hours before the summit of the Catalan independentistas. JOSEAN IZARRAEL WORLD

What is evident is that, during his stay in Waterloo , the former president has been confirmed in his radicalism and has been battling his companies. Not only because he chose for his defense the lawyer Paul Beckaert - the lawyer who has been defending the ETAs for 30 years - but because he has maintained his personal and political relations in that area.

Puigdemont has frequently visited during the last months the house of Natividad Jauregui , accused by the National Court of having shot Lieutenant Colonel Ramón Romero Rotaeche in the neck. They have backed each other. And, in the paella to which he invites his trusted men annually, this year was not the greatest Trapero, who once served as a cook, nor his wife, Marcela Topor . Who has replaced them disabusing the guitar with the songs of Lluís Llach has been the deputy of Bildu Jon Iñarritu .

The former 'president' has been 'batasunizando' his friends and confirming his radicality

The systematic relationship with Otegi has been going on for months. The first meeting of which there is public record occurred on November 7, 2018. Puigdemont and Otegi posed in Waterloo shaking hands before a painting that symbolized police repression. The meeting was broadcast the next day on the networks by EH Bildu with a joint message through the Otegi Twitter account and signed by Puigdemont. The message was very revealing. « Euskal Herria and Catalonia Bi herri helburu bakarra. Independentzia ! ( Two villages one direction ). Nosaltres semper amb Catalunya ».

Otegi has plenty of experience to guide Puigdemont. He also participated in the negotiations, which were ultimately unsuccessful, between the Government and ETA. First, in the meetings held by the abertzales with the members of the PSE - with Jesús Eguiguren and Patxi López - in the Txillarre farmhouse; and then - after the attack on T4 in which the terrorist band murdered two people - in Geneva, where contacts continued under the auspices of Henry Dunant.

It was the direction of ETA that proposed the Foundation as a mediator and the Government of Rodríguez Zapatero accepted it. First, the Dunant organized the meetings between Jesús Eguiguren and ETA leader Josu Ternera in Geneva and in Oslo . The meetings were interrupted because the terrorist organization aspired to continue trying while negotiating and put the bomb on the T-4. The Government, which officially denied that it was going to continue negotiating, returned to Geneva. On this occasion two tables were formed, one for political matters and another for technical matters, and on the first was Arnaldo Otegi.

The negotiation officially failed but it is not strange that Otegi keeps a good memory of the services provided by Henry Dunant. First, because they gave the same status to government representatives and terrorists, they even came out in defense of the latter. Second: they led to an ETA end without winners or losers.

The situation in Catalonia lends itself to paradoxes and double faces - it is not known if ERC has given its approval to this exit - but if there is one clear thing it is that the leaders fled from the two parties that lead the independence movement, Puigdemont and Rovira, drink the winds for Otegi. And that the phyloetarras in turn have long envied the process .

Rovira was one of the main guests of the counter-summit organized by the Abertzale Left against the G7 recently held in Biarritz . Before their videoconference intervention, the organizers closed the doors and were seen joking with Arnaldo Otegi and Pernando Barrena , Josean Izarra reports.

Otegi's shadow is elongated. ERC and JxCat maintain each other discrepancies of strategy and for the hegemony of the Government, which have forced them, during the last months and after that meeting in the Dunant, to hold meetings in Geneva to unify their positions before the sentence and before the celebration of the day. Rovira and Puigdemont moved to the city to lead them. A photo shows the leader of EH Bildu at the airport of the Swiss city bound for Bilbao on August 29, a day before the last Catalan summit.

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Know more

  • ETA
  • Bildu
  • Arnaldo Otegi
  • ERC
  • Carles Puigdemont
  • Catalonia
  • Marta Rovira
  • Patxi Lopez
  • Supreme Court
  • Germany
  • National audience
  • Carmen Calvo
  • Diada
  • PSE
  • Spain

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