Catalan president calls for ‘dialogue without conditions’ with Madrid
From Belgium, Quim Torra says he is keen to hear Spanish opposition leader’s proposals for Catalonia ahead of vote of no confidence
Catalan president Quim Torra repeated his offer to the Spanish government for “dialogue without conditions” on Wednesday. On a trip to Belgium to meet with the deposed Catalan ministers in exile there, Torra said his “message” to the Spanish executive is that it has no choice but to “negotiate with the President of Catalonia, to talk, negotiate and then talk and negotiate again.”
Torra also said he would listen “very attentively” to the proposals for Catalonia from Spanish Socialist opposition leader, Pedro Sánchez. “We want to know what proposal he [Sánchez] has for Catalonia and on what specific measures it might be based,” added Torra. Sánchez is behind a vote of no confidence against Mariano Rajoy which, if successful, could see him replace the Spanish prime minister.
"We want to know what proposal the Socialist leader has for Catalonia and on what specific measures it might be based"
Quim Torra · Catalan president
Torra spoke to the press outside the House of the Republic, in the town of Waterloo, where he met with deposed ministers Meritxell Serret, Toni Comín and Lluís Puig. The president had originally aimed to reinstate the latter two as cabinet ministers, but with the Spanish government blocking the nomination of officials in jail or abroad Torra was forced to choose alternative nominees in order to form a government.
Nevertheless, the Catalan president insisted that his executive will “scrupulously maintain” the objective of reinstating the “legitimate government” dismissed by Madrid following the declaration of independence in the Parliament in October. Torra also insisted there would be “periodic contact” between the new ministers and those from the deposed government to work on “three priority issues: the political prisoners, the exiles and the right to self-determination.”