The negotiation between the PSOE and Junts per Catalunya for the investiture of Pedro Sánchez – once that of the popular Alberto Núñez Feijóo fails, as is foreseeable, on September 27 – is still in the embryonic phase, according to Executive sources. But the socialist leader and acting president of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, is convinced that he will move forward. “The Spaniards have spoken and there will be a progressive Government, of course there will be,” Sánchez said this Sunday during a rally in Oroso (A Coruña). How to achieve it? “We are going to do what we promised during the campaign: I said that I would look for votes even under the rocks to continue making progressive policies, guaranteeing equality and harmony between the people of Spain, and that is what we are going to do,” he added. The socialist has not made any mention of the possibility of approving, as part of that agreement, an amnesty law for those accused of the independence process, which is the main demand of Junts and that the PSOE always rejected outright until the elections of the 23rd. -J, but now he is willing to negotiate.
“Peter, do what you have to do. “This party knows how to turn the page,” the general secretary of the Galician socialists, Valentín Formoso, had said to applause when giving way to Sánchez at the rally. The acting President of the Government has not alluded to the details or conditions of that negotiation, but he has taken it for granted. “Feijóo will be the head of the opposition because there will be a progressive Government. That’s what’s going to happen. The PSOE will continue to govern for four more years,” he insisted. And he has once again reproached the popular leader for the “huge waste of time” of his investiture attempt, ironically regarding the PP’s criticism of Sánchez’s negotiation with the independentists: “What is broken is not Spain, it is the PP”.
The Government maintains that in-depth negotiations with Junts will not start until after Feijóo’s investiture session. But previous contacts have already occurred, according to sources from all parties. The amnesty is the central element of that negotiation. And the fact that Junts demands it while, at the same time, threatening to save the “unilaterality” card for the future – that is, the possibility of launching another process if it considers it necessary to achieve its objectives – is one of the fundamental obstacles. This Sunday, in an interview in La Vanguardia, the leader of Sumar and second vice president of the acting Government, Yolanda Díaz, pointed out that renouncing unilaterality, that is, committing that there will not be another challenge to legality as in 2017, It is a prerequisite for speaking. It is the first time that Díaz makes that condition.
“The agreement must be broad. And in that agreement there is no room for unilateralism (…) Where there is an agreement there is no room for unilateralism,” says Díaz. The PSOE is in the same effort, trying to convince the secessionist party to bury the unilateral threat to facilitate the negotiation, according to socialist sources. The leader of Junts and former president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, was, however, blunt two weeks ago, when he publicly announced his conditions for supporting an investiture: “Junts has not and will not renounce unilateralism,” he said. And on Saturday, after the meeting of the national council of Junts, the parliamentary spokesperson, Míriam Nogueras, warned: “We will not give even a millimeter. We will not let up. “We will not lower our demands.”
Yolanda Díaz, with Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín, on September 4 in Brussels. OLIVIER MATTHYS (EFE)
The day before Puigdemont made those statements from Brussels, where he has been on the run since November 2017, Díaz went to visit him and met with him for almost three hours, returning the veneer of legitimacy and prominence that he had lost for almost six years. Junts and Sumar then committed to “explore all democratic solutions to unblock the political conflict” in Catalonia. The next day, Puigdemont presented his “previous conditions” to support an investiture: an amnesty law that “permanently” puts an end to the “judicial route” against “the independentistas”; a “mediation and verification mechanism” of the agreements, and a commitment so that the only limit to the pact is “international treaties” (that is, not the Constitution). And he warned that in any case, even if the pact prospered, Junts would continue to keep the “unilaterality” card.
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Díaz appears in the interview to be in favor of approving the amnesty. “The amnesty is not a law, but it ends in a law. There is a political conflict that can be the subject of a political and social agreement. A conflict that we should never have come to. And why do I speak of political and social agreement? Because employers and unions, civil society should also be part of that agreement… A broad agreement that would culminate in an organic law. This is the process we can go to,” she states. And she adds: “The agreement must be broad and you will allow me to tell you that unilaterality does not fit in this agreement. Where there is an agreement, there is no room for unilateralism. When one party sits down to negotiate, it is already renouncing unilateralism.”
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