Catalan parties agree to further meetings despite discrepancies

Summit boycotted by most belligerent unionist and pro-independence parties

Socialist leader Miquel Iceta (left) and Catalan president Quim Torra (by Núria Julià)
Socialist leader Miquel Iceta (left) and Catalan president Quim Torra (by Núria Julià) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

November 16, 2018 07:12 PM

The Catalan government today hosted a major summit to lower tensions and engage in dialogue. The meeting was attended by major pro-independence parties, the Socialists, and the left-wing coalition Catalunya En Comú-Podem. That is, the parties governing Catalonia and Spain.

After years of animosity, recent political developments forced them to set their differences aside in order to govern effectively. Today’s summit is the umpteenth attempt to come closer, and the most relevant outcome was pledging to continue meeting.

But if the goal of the meeting was to engage all parties in dialogue, it’s hardly been a success. Three out of seven parties in parliament were missing.

The most belligerent parties on both sides of the independence issue rejected the invitation: the far-left CUP on the pro-independence side, and the People’s Party and Ciutadans for the unionists. The latter, the largest party in the Catalan parliament, accused the Socialists of legitimising pro-independence parties.

"It comes as no surprise to me that Mr Iceta is covering up Mr Torra, because the Spanish president depends on Mr Torra", said Cs leader, Inés Arrimadas, referring to the Socialist leader and the Catalan president. 

Criticism for the Catalan government also came from the pro-independence side, with the far-left CUP taking on the president for his remarks about a recent action by pro-independence grassroots groups against a Spanish judge. 

"This can’t be labeled as violence, as the Catalan president did. This means validating the far-right’s discourse, or that of the Spanish prosecutor", insisted Vidal Aragonés, from the CUP. 

Judge Pablo Llarena has kept nine pro-independence leaders in jail accused of violent rebellion, some of whom have been in prison for more than a year.