Pegasus case
Politics 23/06/2022

Sánchez and Aragonès to meet before the holidays to resume dialogue

Vilagrà demands advances in anti-repressive agenda to normalise relations with Bolaños

2 min
The Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, and the Counselor of the Presidency, Laura Vilagrà, at Moncloa

MadridPedro Sánchez and Pere Aragonès will meet in the next month, as agreed this afternoon by Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, and his counterpart in the Generalitat, Laura Vilagrà, in a meeting of over two hours at the Moncloa. This meeting was the first step on the way to normalising institutional relations between the Spanish and Catalan governments, damaged as a result of Catalangate and the low execution of state investments in Catalonia. After the Andalusian elections, the PSOE has agreed to resume its discomforting Catalan agenda.

There has been no progress other than a willingness to return to the dialogue table at some point, but the Catalan government does not believe the current conditions mean relations have "thawed". In a press conference from Madrid, Vilagrà asked for "minimum guarantees" from the State executive to be able to resume the negotiation process around the anti-repressive agenda. The reform of the crimes of rebellion and sedition, remodelling of the Court of Auditors, lowering accusations in judicial processes and withdrawing euro-orders are all "relevant elements", in Vilagrà's words. The Catalan minister referred to the Cilevics report which the Council of Europe will vote on this week.

"We need concrete facts and there will be results in the coming days," said Vilagrà, who noted that when Sánchez and Aragonès meet, there will already be an announcement. Catalan government sources do not want to go into details, but they do admit that the issues must be explained publicly so as not to interfere in the separation of powers, and they must also be swift. For example, the Catalan government is aware that the reform of the Penal Code may take much longer. The Spanish Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, who spoke from the Spanish presidential palace, did not gone that far. He explained that it has been agreed to work on a "framework agreement" that will allow the dialogue table to be resumed.

The Pegasus case is the one that blew up relations between the two governments, once it became clear that around sixty people linked to the independence movement had been spied on and the Spanish intelligence services admitted that they had accessed current Catalan president Pere Aragonès's phone when he was still vice-president. Vilagrà and Bolaños had already held a meeting on April 24 in Barcelona days after the Citizen Lab report which broke the story appeared and, on this issue, the dismissal of the director of the Spanish intelligence services has been the most important measure taken by the Spanish government

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