Misc 25/06/2021

Pere Aragonès and Pedro Sánchez will meet Tuesday at the Moncloa

It is the meeting prior to the meeting of the table of dialogue, which is not expected before September

3 min
Pedro Sánches and Pere Aragonès greet each other during an act of Foment del Treball in Barcelona.

Barcelona / MadridNext Tuesday there are two appointments marked in red on the calendar and both will take place in Madrid. The first was unknown until Wednesday: the Spanish government has announced that the President, Pedro Sánchez, will meet from 17 p.m. with the President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès. Bizarrely, it will be June 29th, Saint Peter's Day. It is the pending meeting since Aragonès was invested in the talks and comes immediately after the granting of pardons to the nine political prisoners. The second appointment was already foreseen some weeks ago: about forty high officials of the Generalitat, including precisely some of the political prisoners, will appear before the Court of Auditors, to hear the millionaire bail for the external actions of the Generalitat.

The Spanish government did not want the pardons to be interpreted as a counterpart to the meeting between the Presidents and, therefore, has been put on the agenda a week later. It will be the prelude to the dialogue between the governments, which should be resumed no earlier than September, according to Spanish government sources. In order not to give an image of concessions to the independence movement, the Spanish government has not only announced the meeting with Aragonès, but also the meeting with the President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, to be held on July 9th. The two meetings, the Spanish government says, are understood "as an exchange on the main needs and aspirations of the citizens of Catalonia and Madrid".

The last bilateral meeting between Sánchez and a President of the Generalitat dates back to February last year, when he met with Quim Torra, also as a prelude to what a few weeks later, in Madrid, would become the first and so far only meeting of the dialogue table. Now, the release of political prisoners capitalizes the current events and Aragonès intends that it not be interpreted as the end of the road, but just as the beginning of the new stage of negotiation that he hopes to face with the Spanish executive. Sánchez also sees it as a starting point in his project of "reconciliation", despite the fact that he has warned from the outset that there is no room for amnesty or self-determination, the two fundamental demands of the independence movement.

A different announcement

Sánchez and Aragonès agreed that they would meet this June in a phone call they held earlier this month -on June 4th. In recent days the contact between the teams of the two Presidents had intensified, although this Tuesday the spokeswoman of the Governer, Patrícia Plaja, said that there was still no concretion and the meeting would be held "in the coming days" or even "weeks". This Wednesday, however, the final date was already made public. The one in charge of announcing that it would be the 29th has been exclusively the Secretary of State for Communication, when it normally communicates in two ways: on the one hand it is done by the Spanish government, as today, but on the other it is also made public by the Generalitat. The Government was in favour of making the announcement on another day, since it wanted this Wednesday to be a day exclusively to celebrate the freedom of political prisoners.

Aragonès will go to this meeting mainly with two agendas. The first one to talk about the Catalan Independence bid, flagging the topics of amnesty and self-determination that PSOE does not even want to hear about. But also the second, in this case is to address issues of competence and investment, in which there could be more harmony. For example, the republican President wants to talk about the management of European funds - so that the Generalitat can assume direct management of part of them - and the reform of El Prat airport.