The Government aspires to a new dialogue table for the “beginning of the year” | Catalonia


President Pedro Sánchez (left) together with the head of the Government, Pere Aragonès, at the last meeting of the dialogue table, last September.
President Pedro Sánchez (left) together with the head of the Government, Pere Aragonès, at the last meeting of the dialogue table, last September.THE COUNTRY

The new meeting of the dialogue table between the central and Catalan governments is still on the air. After days of exchanges of public messages, the spokesperson for the Generalitat Executive, Patrícia Plaja, assured this Tuesday that although there is still no specific date, the will is for there to be a new meeting “at the beginning of the year.” The spokeswoman ruled out that the proximity of the regional elections in Castilla y León, on February 13, has cooled down the call for this meeting between the two governments.

The state and regional executive are victims of their respective promises. In September, when the negotiating body was reactivated to try to solve the political crisis in Catalonia, the message from both Pedro Sánchez and Pere Aragonès was that there would be no timetables and that the talks would be far from the spotlight. It would come to light, they warned, just to communicate breakthroughs. Despite this, officials from both the Socialists and the Republican ranks had assured in recent weeks that a meeting would be held in early 2022.

Four months have passed since the reactivation of the table in Barcelona (with an approval of the General State Budget in between) and both parties remain secretive about the progress of the talks. Plaja recalled that it was agreed that there would not be “one minute and result” of what was addressed in the discreet meetings “. “The forecast was and still is that there will be a meeting at the beginning of the year, the date is not closed and I cannot say more,” the spokeswoman has settled.

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Aragonès had already taken advantage of the traditional message from the heads of the Government at the end of the year (this time issued on San Esteban’s day, December 26) to press for the date of the new meeting. In that speech, he said that this year that body should begin to bear fruit. And if not, he had warned, the independence movement would begin to move forward in the face of a non-agreed referendum. The response from La Moncloa and the PSOE was immediate and Sánchez himself explained that although there would be a table, the priority now is to address the crisis of the sixth wave of the coronavirus. The omicron variant, in fact, has forced the Conference of Presidents to be postponed to February, which was scheduled on the island of La Palma for this month.

At the Palau de la Generalitat they consider that both are compatible and seek other explanations for the decision to postpone any meeting. With the early elections in Castilla y León falling, there are those who see an electoral interest in not being very submissive to the interests of the Republicans. Plaja has made it clear that the Generalitat did not consider that this appointment with the polls would disrupt the life of the dialogue table, but urged to ask the same in other forums. Quite a dart towards a PSOE that sees how the demoscopy is deflated in Castilla y León in favor of the popular Alfonso Fernández Mañueco.

Sánchez and Aragonès have been conspired to try to isolate the solution to the conflict in Catalonia from the vicissitudes of national politics, but any type of rapprochement always ends up wearing both parties politically. A new meeting of the table would serve as an endorsement to an Aragonese who, although he managed to carry out the Catalan Budgets of this year, has the rest of the independence movement criticizing him daily his alleged lack of defense of linguistic immersion in the face of the judicial sentences that fix more classes of Spanish or the supposed “free” support to state accounts.

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President Sánchez, for his part, knows that he needs ERC so that a star law such as labor reform comes to fruition in Congress. There is no exchange of stickers on the table, but Sánchez understands that his good words about dialogue are not enough and that he needs to pamper his partners in a certain way.

Tangible result

But the new meeting of the dialogue table is also a double-edged sword for both. The two parties agreed, last September, that the photo of the meeting was the best message. Going to light now implies having to announce something beyond the simple will to agree, as was experienced in Barcelona. The possibilities of finding a head that leaves the respective parishes satisfied is very limited, knowing that the intention of the Generalitat is to hold an agreed independence referendum and an amnesty law.

In the ERC environment, they believe that it is possible to show progress in terms of the dialogue methodology, a point on which Aragonès insists from the beginning and which has not had any concretion whatsoever. Plaja recalled that, for now, there is no movement to develop what that would be. plan b if dialogue fails, although he insisted that the Generalitat “will not sit idly by.”


elpais.com

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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