Alex Tort/Barcelona, 8 June 2021
The presidents are urged to put confrontation behind them and put a solution on the table.
New winds are blowing. Pedro Sánchez and Pere Aragonès are willing to do their part for a new stage of “harmony”, according to the first, and of “political normalization”, in the words of the second, between Moncloa and the Generalitat that overcomes the immobility of Madrid and the debate on the unilateralism characteristic of the por-independence movement. The three months of negotiations between ERC and Junts to form the Government have been long and the head of the central Executive had no better candidate in the independent world than the Republican for the opening. He expected it. But once Aragonès was appointed as president, they have not been slow to show it. They did so in a ceremony of the 250th anniversary of main employer’s association Foment del Treball awarded to Javier Godó, count of Godó, editor of La Vanguardia, encouraged by the president of the employer’s, Josep Sánchez Llibre, who urged them to dialogue. “Don’t get tired, because Catalonia and Spain need it,” he said.
It is time to face a new stage and put solutions on the table and listen to all proposals with equal respect and consideration ” Pere Aragonés, president of the Generalitat
Pedro Sánchez and Pere Aragonès picked up the glove, but they didn’t need it either. They arrived at the event predisposed to open a new stage and with the path paved by the leader of Esquerra, Oriol Junqueras, who shortly before had sent an article to La Sexta and the newspaper Ara where he defends pardons as a measure to “alleviate the conflict” and questioned one-sidedness.
With the writing, Junqueras tried to facilitate things in the act of Foment, in such a way that Sánchez and Aragonès metaphorically only had to cut with scissors the ribbon that inaugurates this new stage of understanding. The maximum leader of ERC did an exercise of pedagogy to his audience, just as the Prime Minister has done for weeks to his, opening himself up to the possibility of pardoning the twelve convicted by 1-O.
“I would like us to leave behind the sterile dialectic that has prevailed in recent years for both of us and to seek together a new ‘us’ ” Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez.
The president winked at his counterpart and acknowledged that Catalan Government has taken “steps forward.” “Dear Pere,” Sánchez responded in his turn to speak. He demanded – and demanded himself – “courage.” “The time has come to take steps that allow us to move forward once and for all and do so with determination, serenity and with an enormous sense of justice, seeking at all times the benefit and tranquility, peace, the coexistence of the whole of citizenship above the smallness of party interests or electoral calculations “, Sánchez stressed, aware of the political cost that it may entail and rejecting” revenge. “
The meeting came just three days after the two presidents called to meet this June at Moncloa. It will be the prelude to the resumption of the dialogue table between the Spanish and Catalan governments after more than a year without meeting.
Anyway, Sánchez and Aragonès have been talking throughout the months of the interim Government. Little more than messages of cordiality. The communication team of Catalan Government did not want the coincidence in yesterday’s act to be read as a meeting or, even more so, as a meeting, so it made an effort to avoid it. It was not bad for him, because apart from the fist clash that replaces the handshake in times of coronavirus, minutes before the act began, the two presidents only saw each other again later. The words were brief and in view of some of those present, they were urged to speak at Moncloa and to wish each other the best.
It is time to resume dialogue and negotiation. (…) It is not only an opportunity, but also an obligation ”Pere Aragonès, president of the Generalitat
The presidents’ teams continue to prepare the appointment in Madrid. They do it now without much pressure, since both in the “minimum agreement” that ERC signed with the CUP to guarantee the investiture of Aragonès, and in the Government agreement with the Junts, a margin of two years is granted to the dialogue table to resolve the Catalan political conflict.
The future will come hand in hand with the reunion ”. Pedro Sánchez, President of the Government
Precisely, Junqueras valued this table: “As much as it is criticized and ridiculed (…) it is a success in itself because it opens a space for the potential resolution of the conflict.” The ERC president assures that in writing a few lines before stating that the path of the pact or the agreed referendum is the one that “generates more guarantees and immediate international recognition.” “Because we know that other avenues are neither viable nor desirable insofar as, in fact, they take us away from the goal to be achieved,” he says.
The nuances were put by the spokesperson and deputy general secretary of ERC, Marta Vilalta, who assured that her party is not at all renouncing the unilateral way. She recalled that both in the political presentation of the party, as in the last book written in four hands between Oriol Junqueras and Marta Rovira, and the recent agreements signed with Junts and the CUP, this option is foreseen. In any case, from Esquerra they explain that what their leader intends is a gesture to clear the way and favor the agreement.
The independentists do not trust the table much. “But you have to try,” they wielded from ERC. Republicans believe that dispensing with it would be irresponsible, because without trying “other avenues cannot be legitimized.” In yesterday’s act, Aragonès did not evade his point of view and affirmed that “it is not normal for there to be political prisoners and exiles.” The independence proposal is amnesty and self-determination, but the president was willing to listen to the possible proposal of the Government. “It will not be easy, it will be very difficult. But it is an obligation ”, he said at the same time that he asked to“ overcome the blockade ”.
We know that other routes [the unilateral ones] are not viable or desirable insofar as they take us away from the objective to be achieved ”Oriol Junqueras, president of Esquerra
Sánchez responded by appealing to “courage”, because a reunion is needed that will only be achieved “with arguments and reasons that speak of the path that we all face together.”