SNP In Barcelona For Catalan National Day

04 September 2006
The SNP will this year be represented at celebrations of Catalonia's national day (11th September) as the party continues to build links across the European Union.

The SNP's European spokesman Alyn Smith MEP will be in Barcelona on Monday to join Catalan politicians in marking their national day.

He will also attend a series of meetings with Catalan politicians and represent the SNP at a reception held by the President of the Catalan Parliament.

Speaking ahead of his visit Mr Smith said

"It will be an honour to represent Scotland and the SNP at Catalunya's national celebrations. It is essential for Scotland that we build strong links across Europe.

"Catalunya has a lot to teach Scotland and we have a lot to share with them. The Catalan Parliament has recently won new powers. I want to see how they work and how the Catalan government works with Europe to promote Catalan interests.

"Where Scotland can do nothing but advertise for immigrants Catalunya now has powers over immigration. Where we need to find a competitive edge for business Catalunya has the fiscal powers to offer its businesses a better tax rate.

"The London government fears a powerful Scotland and the current failing Scottish Executive are scared to take responsibility for Scotland.

"Contrast that with the Spanish government who were happy to see Catalonia take greater responsibility for her own affairs and were happy to let the Catalan people decide.

"Across Europe I am regularly asked "What's Scotland waiting for?" It is clear that while countries like Catalunya, the Basque country and Flanders are moving forwards, Scotland is standing still.

"With an SNP government Scotland will be able to move forward, to not only win more powers for the Parliament but the full powers of an Independent Parliament.

Mr Smith will spend the 11th and 12th September in Catalunya

His visit will include

  • Official ceremony to mark Catalunya's National Day
  • Laying flowers at the monument to Rafael Casanovas - accompanied by a Scottish bagpiper resident in Barcelona
  • Official Reception at the Catalan Parliament for Catalunya's National Day
  • A private reception with the leader of the Catalan Parliament
  • Meetings with Catalan MPs
  • Speech at a lunch with Catalan politicians and pro-Independence supporters