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Spanish PM Rajoy accepts to meet with Catalan President Mas in July, but not in private

The Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, agrees to meet with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, who sent an official request last week, before the end of July. However, the Spanish PM wants to hold "a public meeting" and not "a discrete" talk, as the Catalan President suggested. Over the past few weeks, both Rajoy and Mas have been insisting they were willing to talk to each other but neither one of them was taking the formal steps to arrange a meeting. The last official meeting between the two of them was held a year ago, without taking into account the moments the two of them have coincided at the same event and have exchanged protocol words. Furthermore, before meeting with Mas, Rajoy received on Monday representatives from the pro-Spanish unity NGO Societat Civil Catalana, founded a few months ago. In all those years, Rajoy has not officially met with the grass-roots organisations organising the massive independence demonstrations in Catalonia.

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14 July 2014 09:29 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, agrees to meet with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, who sent an official request last week, before the end of July and the start of the summer break, as sources from his Cabinet confirmed on Monday. However, the Spanish PM wants to hold "a public meeting" and not "a discrete" talk, as the Catalan President suggested. In addition, Rajoy has insisted he will not approve the organisation of the self-determination vote scheduled for the 9th November and agreed among a majority of Catalan parties following the mandate from the 2012 elections. Furthermore, before the meeting with the Catalan President, Rajoy received on Monday representatives from the pro-Spanish unity NGO Societat Civil Catalana (SCC), founded a few months ago. In all those years, Rajoy has not officially met with the grass-roots organisations organising the massive independence demonstrations in Catalonia: the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural. After meeting with Rajoy, the President of SCC, Josep Ramon Bosch, explained they asked the Spanish PM to make "specific proposals" and build "a more integrating and attractive Spanish project" in order to deactivate "the secessionist drives".


Over the past few weeks, both Rajoy and Mas have been insisting they were willing to talk to each other in order to discuss Catalonia's political situation but neither one of them was taking the formal steps to arrange a meeting. The last official talk between the two of them was held a year ago, without taking into account the moments the two of them have coincided at the same event and have exchanged protocol words. Last week Rajoy stated that if Mas called him to ask for a meeting, "he will come on the same day". The Catalan President insisted he had already requested a meeting but no invitation had been sent to him. On Friday, the Catalan Government confirmed that a formal letter requesting a meeting had been sent. On the same day, Rajoy called Mas and agreed to see him. However, the two politicians disagree on the meeting format, since the Catalan President would like a discrete talk, away from the press flashes in order to talk in a freer way and the Spanish PM wants "a public meeting", in order to show he talks with Catalan authorities and he opposes the self-determination process. In any case, the stances of both regarding the vote scheduled for the 9th of November have not changed at all: Rajoy totally opposes it and Mas will not give up the plans agreed among a majority of the Catalan Parliament following an electoral mandate.

Rajoy meets with a Catalan civil-society organisation opposing self-determination

On Monday, the Spanish PM met with the civil-society organisation Societat Civil Catalana (SCC), which opposes independence and also the right to self-determination and the consequent vote. This organisation was founded this year and it aims to counter-balance the grass-roots platform organising the massive pro-independence demonstrations of 2012 and 2013, which gathered 1.5 million and 1.6 million people respectively (according to the Catalan Police). The Spanish PM has not met with the pro-independence NGOs. Rajoy has met with SCC's President, Josep Ramon Bosch, the organisation's Vice Presidents, Joaquim Coll, José Rosiñol and Susana Beltrán. After the meeting, the SCC representatives explained they had asked Rajoy for "specific proposals" instead of "voting on existential questions". "The best way to fight against the secessionist drives is to make the Spanish project more attractive and integrating", stated Coll. According to them, the Spanish Government should improve the funding of Catalan public institutions and deal in a better way with "linguistic issues".

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  • The Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy (centre), meeting with representatives from Societat Civil Catalana (by La Moncloa)

  • The Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy (centre), meeting with representatives from Societat Civil Catalana (by La Moncloa)