Luis B. García 20/02/2020 –
The discussion on the date of the dialogue table on Catalonia has been settled with the acceptance of Pedro Sánchez on the counterproposal launched by Quim Torra. The meeting between governments will be next Wednesday, February 26 in the afternoon at Palacio de la Moncloa. This has been communicated after the controversy that has faced both cabinets in recent hours as a result of the announcement of the proposal launched by the cabinet of Pedro Sánchez on Wednesday for next Monday 24 and the replica of Quim Torra, with a letter to the Spanish president this Thursday.
The president of the Government has responded to the letter of the Catalan president accepting one of the alternative dates that he raised. Torra offered this Friday 21, Sunday 23, or the next 26, 27 or 28 February, and alleged personal and private reasons for not accepting Monday 24. In response, Sanchez says the Government proposes to “restart” and “resume Our dialogue at the moment when the roads separated and the reasons and the arguments ceased to be heard ”, is that the president considers that“ that dialogue for the reunion is what millions of Catalans and Spaniards are waiting for ”.
Sanchez says that the Government proposes to “restart” and “resume our dialogue at the moment when the roads separated and the reasons and arguments stopped being heard”
But the question of the date has clouded the relations between the two Executives before even sitting at the dialogue table. After the letter sent by Torra early in the day, it has begun to seep in some national media that the date for the first meeting of the table would be on the 26th. Some of these media have cited socialist sources, but confirmation by the Secretariat of State of Communication has arrived later, at the point of 11:00 hours. Minutes before, this newspaper has contacted Presidency sources to contrast this information and have denied any agreement on this, not even any communication. “They have not called us or told us anything,” said these sources.
In the letter of response to Torra, the President of the Government remarks that the respective teams “have been in permanent communication”, contrary to the criteria of the President and JxCat, who consider that on the Catalan side they have simply listened to Moncloa’s proposals without that the allegations on the date have been addressed, nor has the agenda of matters to be discussed at the meeting been agreed upon.
In Presidency they complain that “they have not called us or told us anything”
Sanchez considers “perfect” to convene the table on February 26 in the afternoon at the Palacio de la Moncloa and remarks that “we all know that dialogue is necessary and that this should be the legislature that promotes it.” Finally, it emphasizes the “hopes” that citizens have on this table “and the dialogue spirit that must be transmitted from that forum.
Sanchez accepts the date of the 26 proposed by Torra after the complaints launched by the president in his morning letter and the meeting that the president has held in the Palau de la Generalitat with the vice president, Pere Aragonès. In the letter sent to Sánchez without the knowledge of the members of the Government, according to sources of the Executive himself, Torra has lamented the proposal without prior agreement disseminated by Moncloa despite having informed them of the impossibility of holding the meeting on Monday for “personal” reasons. “This dialogue does not begin on the right foot,” according to the president lamented to inform him that he did not accept the date of Monday, February 24.
Torra’s complaints “It’s not the way to show that you want an honest and fruitful dialogue”
The Catalan president was harshly reproaching Sanchez for his way of acting on Wednesday, announcing the proposal on the 24th. “This dialogue does not start on the right foot” for “making proposals for the date of the meeting through the media and without having agreed before ”, it affected. For the president, this Moncloa modus operandi “is not the way to show that you want an honest and fruitful dialogue.” Yesterday’s announcement was intended to provoke the movement in Torra. The Government was trying to get the table set up before the claim that Carles Puigdemont plans to star on February 29 in the French town of Perpignan.
The head of the Catalan Executive was surprised by the way Moncloa acted on Wednesday, when he announced his proposal to hold this meeting without prior agreement with the Catalan side. But to demonstrate that his commitment to dialogue is complete and sincere, in the letter, Torra also made a proposed agenda for that meeting, with the already known independence demands: the end of repression, the amnesty for the “prisoners and exiles ”, the right to self-determination and international mediation. Sanchez has not wanted to refer to these issues in his response to the president.
Torra sent a previous letter this Thursday in which he proposed five alternative dates and proposed international mediation on the agenda of the table.
The Catalan president structured the issues to be discussed in two sections. In the first place, the “contents for the resolution of the political conflict”, which included the recognition of the exercise of the right of self-determination of Catalonia and “end of repression, amnesty and reparation”. The second umbrella is the “favorable conditions for negotiation,” where Torra demands a “work schedule,” “recognition of all parties to the conflict, including prisoners and exiles,” and international mediation.
Torra alleged “reasons of personal and private nature of my agenda” to reject the date of January 24 for the meeting, reasons that remind Sánchez that his cabinet has already communicated to the Spanish president before making public the proposal of the Monday, February 24. Therefore, the Catalan president expressed his disappointment that even so, in Moncloa they decided to announce his proposal to the media, thus ignoring his reasons for rejecting it.
The composition of the negotiating table
Together with the agenda of the meeting, the composition of the respective delegations that will be part of that dialogue table remains to be known. In this sense, today it has been known that the Minister of Universities, Manuel Castells, will be part of the Government delegation, which at the moment is known to be led by President Sánchez and that the second vice president and Minister of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, Pablo Iglesias, will also be present; the first vice president of the Government, Carmen Calvo, and probably, the minister of Health and secretary of organization of the PSC, Salvador Illa.
On the Catalan side, together with President Torra, the presence of the Vice President and Minister of Economy, Pere Aragonès, and the Minister of Justice, Ester Capella, are also certain.