Tuesday, January 18

Pedro Sánchez: “In Catalonia, we have all made mistakes”

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez.
Jose Luis Roca

The president of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, speaks for the first time of the Catalan situation after the revocation by the Supreme Court of the third degree of those convicted by the trial of the ‘procés’. The Catalan government’s agenda remains the same: promotion of the reform of the crime of sedition and processing of pardons when justice reports on them. The rhythms do not depend on the Executive in all cases, but the climate must change around the February 14 elections.

After the revocation of the third degree to the prisoners of the ‘procés’, what is Pedro Sánchez’s recipe for Catalonia?

The recipe is the reunion. I think what happened this December, with the approval of the Budgets, is very important. Some BudgetsBy the way, they largely comply with the statutory provisions in the area of ​​investment, which resolve some issues that have been weighing down political life in Catalonia for a long time, such as the contribution by the State to the remuneration of the Mossos d ‘ Esquadra. Investments in Rodalies. From the material point of view, these Budgets rebuild many bridges broken during the years of crisis and also of conservative policies. From the point of view of emotional reunion, I think there is one fundamental thing and that is that the unilateral path in Catalonia has failed and has no future. I hope that next February 14, when the elections in Catalonia take place, there will be a demand to open a new stage in Catalonia and to bet in a definitive way for the reunion through dialogue. That is the approach that the Socialist Party is going to make in this case. From the government’s point of view, we want to overcome these wounds. We are very aware that this entire crisis has opened wounds, I am not saying only in the political leaders of the pro-independence formations, but also in a good part of Catalan society, which does not have to be only pro-independence. The Government of Spain will take the steps that it has to take in accordance with the Constitution, in accordance with democratic legality in favor of this reunion and reconciliation. But, obviously, the deadlines, the times, are not set by the Government. They are marked in this case by the justice.

Some, like the reform of the crime of sedition, it can mark them.

It is true, but it is also true that we had to cope with a pandemic. It is not easy. What have we said? Once what happened in Catalonia took place, and the challenge it posed for the territorial integrity of our country, Spain saw that its Penal Code was a Penal Code that was not in accordance with the crimes that is comparable with the rest of the European countries, or at least the most advanced ones. This is a deeply Europeanist society and we have to do this exercise, in the Cortes Generales, of updating our Penal Code. When will it be done? In the legislative plan, which we made known and which is public, we had planned that it would be before the end of the year and it is clear that, for material reasons, it has not been possible. I can guarantee you that this bill will see the light of day sooner rather than later. This is one of the commitments that I have made in the first person, towards Spanish society and towards Catalan society. And in other debates, in this case, pardons, let us first let the justice work and when that approach is on the table of the Council of Ministers, then the Government will speak.

Are you going to get involved in the Catalan campaign?

Well, logically, I am going to get involved as I have always been involved in Catalan campaigns.

Can the agreement with ERC be reciprocal depending on the results?

It is important that what breaks through in Catalonia as of February 14, after everything that has happened and the dramatic situation that has been experienced, is that we all learn from our mistakes. We have all made mistakes, the independentistas and we too. We must bet on dialogue, on reunion and leave behind a unilateral path that has proven to be a failure. And, in addition, with consequences, let’s say, of emotional bankruptcy that we will still take time to restore. What I can convey to you is that, as far as I am concerned, as President of the Government and what I can represent, in this matter, of course, we are going to bet on dialogue, harmony and reconciliation. And it will be a path that we have always said that it will not be easy, it will be complex, it will be long because there are many years of disagreement, but we cannot afford not to tackle this challenge, because I think the whole of Catalonia deserves it. and the whole of the country.

Access the interview with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez:

First installment | “While at the helm, the Constitution will govern from the first to the last of its articles”

Second installment | “The pandemic attacked those countries that are international hubs for travelers”

Third installment | “There will be labor reform if there is a social agreement”


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