‘Dialogue without ruling out any topic,’ say Puigdemont and Podemos head
Former Catalan president and Pablo Iglesias speak over the phone for 45 minutes and the exiled leader invites left-wing politician to Belgium
There is a need for “dialogue without ruling out any topic.” This is what both the Catalan former president, Carles Puigdemont, and the Spanish far-left Podemos party leader, Pablo Iglesias, agreed on after a 45-minute phone conversation on Sunday evening.
They both claimed that “spaces of dialogue that do not exist today” are necessary between the pro-independence movement and Spain in order to reach any agreement in the future.
Meeting in Belgium?
During the conversation, the exiled Catalan leader invited the Spanish politician to hold a meeting in person in Belgium, where he moved last October, some days after the declaration of independence.
Were he to meet Puigdemont, it would be the first time that a Madrid major politician sits down with the former Catalan president in Belgium.
While Iglesias only said he will consider the offer, both agreed that conversations between the leader of Podemos and the head of pro-independence Junts per Catalunya will continue.
Pablo Iglesias held a meeting on Friday in person with Oriol Junqueras, the leader other major pro-independence party, Esquerra. They had the talk in Lledoners prison, were Junqueras has been incarcerated for months.
Iglesias, seeking supports for 2019 Spanish budget
Podemos, from opposition, agreed on the Spanish budget with the ruling Socialists earlier in October, but pro-independence parties are essential for the bill to be passed in the lower chamber.
Iglesias aims to convince both major pro-independence forces to suport the spending plan.
Yet so far the Catalan pro-independence parties have stated that they will only negotiate the 2019 budget on one condition: the Spanish government has to make a move towards freeing the nine Catalan leaders in jail.