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Catalonia must have a government ‘as soon as possible,’ says Italian ex-PM

Enrico Letta says having pro-independence leaders in jail makes the political situation "even more complex"

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28 April 2018 06:26 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Italy’s former prime minister Enrico Letta has said that dialogue between the Spanish government and Catalan independence leaders is essential. Letta told Catalan News that in order to have an interlocutor that can engage in talks with Madrid, Catalonia should have a new government “as soon as possible.”

“In my opinion and according to my political experience, any negotiation and any solution are only possible when there is an interlocutor. And today there’s no one because Catalonia has no government, and I think it’s essential to solve this problem,” said Letta.

  • “I don’t think any external mediation would help here"

    Enrico Letta · Italy's former prime minister 

Catalonia has been without its own executive for six months. Last October, following a declaration of independence, the Spanish government used extraordinary measures to suspend self-rule, dismiss all government officials, and call a new election for December 21. Pro-independence parties secured a majority to form a new government, but all their attempts to appoint a president have been blocked by Spanish courts.

Even if a new cabinet is formed, though, reaching a solution could prove hard. Letta acknowledges that the imprisonment of pro-independence leaders—with ten people in jail and seven abroad—makes the political situation “even more complex,” but stresses the importance of respecting the “independence of the judiciary.”  

According to Letta, any solution should respect Spain’s constitutional order, but should take into account that pro-independence parties have a majority of seats in the Catalan parliament.

Letta ruled out the possibility of the European Union intervening to sit at the table both Madrid and Catalonia. “I don’t think any external mediation would help here,” he said, and added that “we shouldn’t ask Europe to do that which it can’t do.”

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  • Italy's former prime minister Enrico Letta (by Laura Pous)

  • Italy's former prime minister Enrico Letta (by Laura Pous)