Europa Press, Madrid, 18 October 2021
The Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander de Croo, with Pedro Sánchez, after his appearance in Moncloa. /
EUROPA PRESS / ISABEL INFANTE
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo has defended the importance of dialogue to address “territorial issues” facing both his country and Spain, praising the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, for his commitment to dialogue. with Catalonia.
In a statement without questions in Moncloa at the end of their bilateral meeting, De Croo raised the issue of Catalonia, not without first acknowledging that in the past the two countries have had “their differences”, in an apparent allusion to the tension generated by the presence in Belgium of the former president of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemont, among others, since one of the parties of the previous government, the Flemish independentists NDA, supported him.
“Belgium and Spain are countries that have to address territorial issues,” the Belgian prime minister acknowledged, stressing that both countries share “many characteristics” and have “great wealth and diversity that is something to be appreciated.” The Flemish liberal politician has considered that the two countries are capable of “managing these differences” and in this sense he has opted for dialogue. A dialogue, he has said, “that is governed by the norms” and that makes clear its difference with an authoritarian system.
“A democracy does not have to do only with the majority but when it works best is when it is also good and allows defending minorities”, he has valued, while acknowledging that this dialogue “is not something easy.” “Diversity is a strength,” he stressed, defending that all democracies should see it that way, including “a strong democracy like Spain’s.” Dialogue, De Croo has abounded, “is a choice that must be made and that allows us to see what unites us and not only what separates us”. And he has stressed that dialogue “is the only correct path” and has said that this is precisely one of the things that he admires about Sánchez: “your commitment and your courage to commit to dialogue in a very professional way, as you are doing” . “This is a very clear leadership and you show it every day,” he finished.
De Croo has also applauded Spain’s proposal to discuss the price of energy at the European level, an issue that will be addressed by the leaders of the 27 at the European Council this Thursday and Friday in Brussels. For his part, Sánchez has valued that De Croo’s is the first visit to Spain by a Belgian prime minister and has highlighted the good level of the bilateral relationship and that the two countries share “values and principles” that make them coincide in many matters within the EU.
Likewise, he has recognized the Belgian ‘premier’ who always brings a “constructive and pro-European vision” in the debates within the EU and “facilitates agreements on many occasions”. In addition, it has expressed the willingness to work with Belgium within the framework of the trio of EU presidencies for the period 2023-24, as this country will succeed Spain in the first half of 2024 to ensure that the green and digital transformation is fair.