Different takes on importance of mediator in Spain-Catalonia talks within independence camp

JxCat spokesperson says presence of figure is an "obligation" while ERC avoids making issue a red line

Laura Borràs (JxCat) and Gabriel Rufián (ERC) in April 2019 (by Bernat Vilaró)
Laura Borràs (JxCat) and Gabriel Rufián (ERC) in April 2019 (by Bernat Vilaró) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 18, 2020 02:09 PM

With talks between the Spanish and Catalan cabinets due to begin in the near future, the two main pro-independence parties have different takes on the importance of the presence of a mediator in the bilateral negotiations on the Catalan conflict.

Spokesperson for former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont's JxCat party in Spain's Congress, Laura Borràs, claims that a neutral mediator must take part in the talks, stating that it is an "obligation."

Borràs denies that insisting on this point is an attempt to place undue pressure or obstacles on the proceedings, and instead argues that the figure is required as the pro-independence majority in the Catalan parliament voted in favor of using one in negotiations and that the Spanish government had agreed to use one before talks fell through last year.  

On the other hand, left-wing Esquerra Republicana's spokesperson in Congress, Gabriel Rufián, thinks talks should not hinge upon whether or not the Spanish government concedes to allowing one or not: "It is counterproductive to put more pressure on the talks than they already have. I will not comment on anyone's stance on the matter."

The Esquerra politician believes that the most important thing is for the bilateral talks to be successful and says that the first meeting should take place before the end of February as was agreed upon by Catalan president Quim Torra and Spanish president Pedro Sánchez in their recent meeting in Barcelona.