NATIONALIST campaigners must show voters “a better world” is possible, the SNP’s president told a pro-Catalan independence meeting.

Speaking at a conference held as part of a series of demonstrations of support for the Spanish region’s independence, Michael Russell also said the potential of independent countries was “enormous” during a panel discussion in Barcelona.

He was one of two speakers from the UK to address the Unlocking Our Potential conference on Sunday evening.

Liz Saville Roberts, leader of the Welsh independence party Plaid Cymru, also addressed the conference as did Yves-François Blanchet, the leader of Bloc Québécois and Hervør Pálsdóttir of Tjóðveldi.

'The potential is enormous' 

Russell, a former Scottish Government minister who serves as the SNP’s president, told the conference: “The potential for each of our countries to do things is enormous. We have to find that excitement, we have to say to people that there is a better world and show how we can deliver it.”

Saville Roberts said the example of Catalan nationalists was an example to independence campaigners around the world.

The National:

The balance of power in Spain currently hinges on whether pro-independence parties will keep Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (above) of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) in power after an inconclusive General Election this year.

In a speech trail issued before she addressed the conference, the MP (below) said: “What happens in the current negotiations between the Catalan nationalists and Spanish Unionists over the formation of the next Spanish Government matters to us in Wales and to nations across Europe.

The National:

“A successful negotiation shows the value of working together with those who may not be our natural bedfellows, for the benefit of our people.

“Plaid Cymru has had recent experience of this with our co-operation agreement with the Labour Welsh Government following the Welsh Parliament elections in 2021. We had a challenging election, but we did not give up.

“Thanks to Plaid Cymru, the Constitutional Commission was established to consider and develop options for fundamental reform of the constitutional structures of the United Kingdom.

READ MORE: BBC Proms targeted by pro-EU activists with show of flags

“Thanks to Plaid Cymru, this Welsh Government Commission – under a Labour Government, the sister party to PSOE – has delivered a report stating that there are three viable options for Wales, which includes independence.

“Independence is the method for us to create hope for the future and to create an outward looking nation that delivers opportunities for our people.”

She added: “Plaid Cymru are more determined than ever to work with others in nations in Europe and further afield who strive to deliver fairer, more prosperous and greener societies through independence. A future independent Wales must have strong ties with our European friends and neighbours.”

Diada demonstrations

Catalan nationalists led a wildcat independence referendum in 2017 resulting in the persecution of the movement’s leaders.

Sánchez pardoned nine Catalan independence leaders in June for their role in organising the illegal referendum. They remain barred from holding public office.  

The conference was held in Barcelona, the capital of the Catalonia region in the northeast of Spain, and came amid a flurry of nationalist activity to commemorate Diada.

Diada is the national day of Catalonia and falls on September 11. Organisers of a mass rally in the city expect thousands to fill the streets to demonstrate in favour of independence.

READ MORE: Why Flower of Scotland is the wrong pick for our national anthem

The Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC), an organisation representing those favouring Catalan independence, has called on pro-independence parties to “block the Spanish parliament”, reports El Nacional.

The Junts party, founded by Carles Puigdemont, is demanding Sánchez secure a guarantee the EU recognises Catalan as one of its official languages to continue its support for the socialist leader in parliament.

In June, Junts politicians backed the socialist candidate for a key parliamentary job – but their continued support must be ensured with further concessions, the party has warned.