All of Catalonia’s elected parties have come together to sign a pledge for a “responsible debate on immigration”, denouncing racism and xenophobia. Ahead of what are expected to be heated campaigns for April’s Spanish election and May’s European and local elections, representatives of the eight groups in the Catalan parliament agreed a cross-party manifesto for promoting diversity and the benefits of immigration.

Catalan president Quim Torra has called for politicians of all stripes to “commit to stopping the rise of discrimination, racism and xenophobia” by toning down their rhetoric on migration. Following a roundtable meeting of 50 groups which represent minorities or have committed to fighting discrimination, President Torra praised a “crucial” compromise between competing parties from left to right, both pro- and anti-independence.

The parties also vowed to ensure their views on immigration are based on reliable data.

Recent incidents

Four attacks in Catalonia have been denounced as racist in the six weeks since the snap election was called, three of which targeted unaccompanied immigrant minors at housing shelters.

The latest, taking place last week, involved security guards at a train station in Barcelona.