Big unions urge President to open 'permanent dialogue' with Spain
CCOO and UGT say "negotiation is essential" in politics and welcome formation of new Catalan government
Representatives of the two biggest unions in Catalonia, CCOO and UGT, met on Monday with the Catalan President, Quim Torra, and urged him to open a "permanent dialogue" with the Spanish government.
Union leaders Javier Pacheco and Camil Ros said "negotiation is essential" in a democracy and insisted on the need to reach "consensus" about the way forward between Catalans and the Spanish government.
Both union leaders admitted Catalonia is facing a "political problem" that requires "solutions". They welcomed the formation of the new Catalan government after seven months under Spain's direct rule, as this means economic and social demands could now be addressed.
According to Pacheco, from the UGT, having Catalan politics and social activists in prison is "abnormal in a democracy." He demanded the conflict be solved outside the courtrooms, and urged "proportionality." "We offer the commitment of our organizations to solve the situation by dialogue," Pacheco said.
The union leaders also urged the Catalan president to restart pending negotiations on social affairs. According to them, President Quim Torra was "receptive" to their demands and "didn't say no" to any of them. "We hope we'll have specific meetings in the future," said Camil Ros.