First meeting between President Puigdemont and the Leader of the Opposition
New Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and the recently named Leader of the Opposition Inés Arrimadas held this Wednesday their first official meeting. At a press conference directly after the meeting, the Catalan government’s spokeswoman, Neus Munté, expressed her hope that the differences regarding the roadmap towards independence, which is “a priority of the new government”, won’t obstruct “the daily management” of the citizens’ needs. Arrimadas described the meeting as “cordial and full of constructive proposals” but lamented that Puigdemont wouldn’t make “any move” to reform Catalonia’s funding system, one of Ciutadans’ core proposals. “If the government renounces negotiation, we will do so in the Spanish Parliament” she stated.
Barcelona (CNA).- The new Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and the Leader of the Opposition, anti-Catalan Ciutadans member Inés Arrimadas, met this Wednesday for the first time. Although the meeting was described by Arrimadas as “cordial and full of constructive proposals”, the roadmap towards independence was again the most controversial battlefield. Regarding a possible reform of the funding system, a proposal defended by Ciutadans, Arrimadas said that Puigdemont “won’t make any move” in this respect. “If the government renounces negotiation, we will do so in the Spanish Parliament” she stated. At a press conference directly after the meeting, the Catalan government’s spokeswoman, Neus Munté, expressed her hope that the differences over the roadmap towards independence, which is “a priority of the new government” won’t obstruct “the daily management” of the citizens’ needs.
“The roadmap towards independence is one of the government’s priority” stated Munté “but we are convinced that this won’t be an obstacle for working together on questions that matters to the citizens’ daily lives”. Munté explained that President Puigdemont laid on the table numerous subjects, such as the recent law on climate change, the fight against jihadist terrorism, the social measures against energy poverty, the commitment to reduce the unemployment rate and key infrastructure initiatives such as access to Barcelona’s Port, the Mediterranean Railway Corridor and the reinforcement of the short-distance train network, amongst others.
The government is convinced that agreement can be reached on these subjects, regardless of the ideological differences concerning Catalonia’s roadmap towards independence. “These are key questions in our daily lives from a social, economic and educative perspective” stated Munté. Puigdemont’s aim is to “keep a permanent and fluent dialogue with the Leader of the Opposition and with all the political forces”.
Ciutadans to negotiate Catalonia’s funding in the Spanish Parliament
For her part, Arrimadas lamented that President Puigdemont won’t negotiate a reform of Catalonia’s funding system. “He confessed to me that they won’t make a move nor promote this debate” she stated and added that “if the government renounces negotiation, we will do so in the Spanish Parliament”.
Arrimadas has refused to support the new government’s budget, as the executive’s priority continues to be the roadmap towards independence.