Agramunt during the King’s recent visit to the APCE./Photo: Council of Europe
The Diplomat. 04/05/2017
The PP senator Pedro Agramunt, president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), will make a decision next week about his future in this European institution, after losing the deputies’ trust due to his controversial trip to Syria, where he met Bashar Al Assad, accompanied by other European and Russian parliamentarians.
The motion was carried by the Presidency of the PACE in an unprecedented decision in the history of the Council of Europe, which includes 47 countries. That institution determined that Agramunt is not authorized to make official visits, attend meetings or make public statements on behalf of the Assembly as president. It will not pay for representation expenses either. However, he cannot be forced to resign, since that decision is the exclusive concern of the president of the PACE.
“The situation is what it is and my reaction will come soon”, he told The Diplomat while making clear that he is still the president of the PACE “with all the consequences”. His one-year mandate (which cannot be extended) concludes in January 2018.
Agramunt will announce his decision through a statement, but no date has been set yet, although it will be next week, “never before that”. The spokesperson of PP in the Senate, José Manuel Barreiro, plans to meet him next week to ask him for explanations about the aforementioned trip to Syria in March.
Barreiro described Agramunt’s trip as a “serious mistake” and denied that the senator was representing the PP parliamentary group of the Senate.