Tuesday, June 15

Sánchez and Aragonès seek a framework of trust prior to the dialogue table | Catalonia

The Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, at the press conference after the Government meeting
The Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, at the press conference after the Government meetingAlbert garcia

The date of the next meeting of the dialogue table on the political conflict in Catalonia will be one of the decisions that President Pedro Sánchez and the head of the Government, Pere Aragonès, take in the meeting alone that they plan for before the end of the month. The Catalan leader expressed yesterday, at the press conference after the Executive Council, his willingness to speak by phone before Friday with Sánchez and try to fit the agendas to see each other in Madrid.

The dialogue forum that the PSOE and ERC once created in exchange for facilitating the inauguration of Sánchez has not met since February 2020, and all this time it has served as a weapon between the Government and the Generalitat presided over by Quim Torra. The change of color in the Government, with the republican Aragonès now at the helm, opens a new time that both parties want to take advantage of and, very especially, stage.

The granting of pardons to the leaders of the process It will imply a wear and tear for the Executive of Sánchez and the Government seeks to tie up ERC’s support on key issues of the remainder of the legislature. Despite the fact that both leaders maintain open lines of contact, the meeting in Madrid – although dressed as a protocol – would allow us to deepen a climate of mutual trust.

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Aragonès yesterday picked up the glove thrown by Sánchez, who last Monday proposed holding a formal meeting between the two leaders in La Moncloa. “Times are coming for a lot of discussion, on fundamental issues but also on day to day,” announced the president at the press conference after the weekly meeting of the Executive that he presides.

Sánchez contacted the ERC leader on May 21 to congratulate him on his election as president, but Aragonès insisted yesterday on going beyond the “courtesy” messages and having a “quiet call” to start dispatching pending issues. The State-Generalitat Bilateral Commission will also be activated. From that calmer conversation, Aragonès accepted, a meeting will be derived in Madrid and there, very predictably, a date will be set for the next meeting of the dialogue table.

Sources of the Generalitat hope that this meeting will take place before the end of the month. Everything will depend on a very devilish agenda on both sides of the Ebro river: Sánchez has to make internal balances and the right hopes to show strength on the 13th with its concentration in the Plaza de Colón against the grace measure. Aragonès has to put the new Government on track and, in addition, summon sovereignty to prepare its proposal in the so-called National Agreement for the referendum and amnesty.

To the dialogue table, which according to Aragonès has to be held “as soon as possible”, the Generalitat will take precisely the proposal of holding an agreed referendum and the approval of an amnesty law. The president He insisted yesterday that he will not oppose the pardons, but that he does not see them as an answer to the Catalan political problem. Of course, he asked that “the fairest decision arrive as soon as possible” to avoid suffering for the families of the leaders convicted of sedition and embezzlement.

Aragonès does not believe, like the president of the ANC, Elisenda Paluzie, that this measure “disarms” the independence movement. “It would only disarm us if citizens did not follow us,” he added.

The minister spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, insisted yesterday that “there is no relationship” between the dialogue table and the pardons for the pro-independence leaders. Nor was he against the possibility that the ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras, could participate in a session of the dialogue table, something that has not been formally proposed either.

The Catalan president also avoided any friction with the central Executive on account of the statement from the Moroccan Foreign Ministry, in which the conflict between Western Sahara and Catalonia is equated. Until now, Morocco had aligned itself with the theses of the Government. “We want to resolve the political conflict with the State with the State,” said Aragonès, who asked to focus on humanitarian assistance.

Aragonès yesterday served as spokesperson, although she announced the appointment of an independent journalist for this task. The chosen one is Patrícia Plaja, former head of communication for the Mossos and recognized for her role during the attacks jihadists of 17-A. The idea is to avoid the clash between partners due to the communication that eroded the relationship between Esquerra Republicana and Junts per Catalunya last term.


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