Dialogue has started, but not negotiations, says President Torra
Catalan and Spanish vice presidents to meet in Madrid on Thursday
The Catalan president, Quim Torra, believes the meeting he had on Monday with his Spanish counterpart, Pedro Sánchez, is proof that dialogue between Catalonia and Spain has been reestablished. But this does not mean that any negotiations have begun, added Torra in an interview on Tuesday with the Catalunya Ràdio public broadcaster.
"Is it the beginning of dialogue? Yes. Is it the beginning of a negotiation? Perhaps not yet. We sat down and agreed that we are facing a political conflict that needs a political solution, but we are very far from each other over the issues of the jailed leaders and the right to self-determination."
Yet Torra believes that the meeting "was very important for the bilateral relationship it establishes and because the underlying problem was tackled." For the president, it is a "starting point" and he is now "waiting for" the next move from Madrid.
Vice presidents’ meeting
One of the things that the Catalan and Spanish presidents agreed on was to relaunch bilateral committees that have been inactive for seven years.
On Tuesday morning, Pedro Sánchez ordered that the bilateral committee meet this July.
It was also announced that the vice presidents of both governments, Pere Aragonès and Carmen Calvo, will meet on Thursday in Madrid.
Sources from the Spanish government explained that it was Aragonès, Torra's number two, who asked for a meeting with his counterpart.
Some days ago, Aragonès, who is also the treasury minister, said that Spain owes Catalonia six billion euros.
Roadmap towards independence
In the interview, Torra also said that he will hold a "political conference" in September to set out a new roadmap to achieve independence.
"I want to present how I see the situation for the end of the year and the coming months," he said.
The ultimate aim for this term is to "implement the [Catalan independent] Republic and write a constitution," he added.
One of the key points of his speech will be "making the importance of public mobilization on the streets clear."