Politics 20/04/2022

Aragonès warns Sánchez of "immediate political consequences" if there are no explanations over Catalangate

He does not consider the dialogue table dead but demands a "face-to-face" conversation with the Spanish president

3 min
Extraordinary meeting of the Government to address Catalangate.

BarcelonaCatalangate has opened a new crack in the always delicate relations between the Generalitat and the Spanish government. The espionage case has multiple repercussions and, in the sphere of the Catalan Government, the main conflict that it leaves open is whether it makes sense or not to continue with the dialogue table in the face of this new crisis. Catalan president Pere Aragonès appeared this Tuesday afternoon to address the case. He did so to warn Spanish President Pedro Sánchez that the case could have "important and immediate political consequences" if he does not give explanations and if he does not seek out those responsible. Aragonès did not consider the dialogue table between governments dead, but admitted that relations are once again strained.

To give greater solemnity to his words, Aragonès appeared from the Gothic gallery of the Palau de la Generalitat accompanied by members of his Government. The first thing he did was to strongly criticise the State and to take for granted that one of the "security agencies" of the Spanish government is behind the espionage. "A democratic state does not spy on citizens, does not listen to the private conversations of political opponents," he lamented. He has also promised that his Government will not rest "until all the people responsible for this attack on democracy are brought to justice". The Generalitat will put the case in the hands of the Mossos d'Esquadra and also the Catalan Cybersecurity Agency. Aragonès will also file a personal complaint.

The criticism, however, was taken for granted and the attention has been focused at all times on whether the case of espionage would be the final blow to the dialogue table, which never really got off the ground. Aragonès does not consider the negotiation to be over, but he has admitted that trust with the State government and its institutions "is minimal". His thesis, however, is that it is not up to him to say whether the negotiation between governments is mortally wounded, but that "the ball is in Sánchez's court". "Illegally spying on the adversary takes us far away from the resolution of the political conflict," he resolved.

Be that as it may, he considers that dialogue may continue if Sánchez takes several measures. The first, an "internal investigation" into who is responsible for the spying and who has supervised it. The second is to facilitate the work of a parliamentary inquiry and, finally, that "political responsibilities" are assumed by those who are responsible. In fact, he has asked for a "face-to-face" conversation with Sánchez to address the issue without intermediaries. In short, the dialogue is not dead, but whilst uncertainty already reigned as to when another meeting could be held, the scandal has contributed to make it seem even less likely one will take place soon.

Puigneró: "Spain is not a full democracy"

Catalan vice-president Jordi Puigneró has also intervened, who criticised the State and assured that Catalangate shows that "Spain is not a full democracy". "As a government we cannot remain with our arms crossed", he added. For him it is not possible to "normalise relations with an oppressive state" that spies on its citizens.

Before the appearance, at 15.30, there was an extraordinary meeting to coordinate the government response to the case of espionage. The meeting was attended by, apart from Aragonès and Puigneró, Presidency minister Laura Vilagrà, Home Affairs minister Joan Ignasi Elena, and secretary general for Goreign Action and Open Government, Lluís Baulenas. They are the Government departments responsible for security, cybersecurity, foreign action and legal services.

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