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Government “surprised” that Spanish Vice President is meeting the opposition before the Catalan executive

The so-called ‘operation dialogue’ launched by the Spanish executive aims for Spain’s executive to have a greater presence in Catalonia. In line with this purpose, Spanish Vice President and recently named Minister for Territorial Administrations, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, travelled to Barcelona this Wednesday. However, despite having committed to holding a meeting with her Catalan counterpart, Oriol Junqueras, Sáenz de Santamaría hasn’t even made a date for such a meeting. On the other hand, she met first with the opposition’s leader, Inés Arrimadas and with the Catalan Socialists’ leader, Miquel Iceta. The Catalan Government’s spokeswoman, Neus Munté, considered it “surprising” but “congratulated” Saénz de Santamaría for her “initiative” especially after the Spanish executive’s “enormous absence” in this sense. “Confrontation and using the courts have been the only answers so far”, lamented Munté.

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07 December 2016 06:19 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan Government’s spokeswoman, Neus Munté, congratulated the Spanish Vice President, Soraya Saénz de Santamaría, for her “initiative to have a greater presence in Catalonia” especially after the Spanish executive’s “enormous absence” in the last years. According to Munté, “confrontation and using the courts” have been Spain’s “only response to Catalonia’s demands” and have fed “the lack of knowledge about the Catalan reality”. However, despite Saénz de Santamaría having “admitted that so far there has been too much confrontation with Catalonia”, this Wednesday she preferred to meet with the opposition’s leader, Inés Arrimadas and with the Catalan Socialists’ leader, Miquel Iceta first rather than with the Catalan executive. Munté also emphasised that Sáenz de Santamaría committed to having a meeting with her Catalan counterpart, Oriol Junqueras but reminded that such a meeting doesn’t have a concrete date yet.


“The Government has been really critical towards [the Spanish executive’s] lack of knowledge of the Catalan reality”, explained Munté and added that Saénz de Santamaría “admitted that so far there has been too much confrontation with Catalonia”. “This is exactly what we believe, that confrontation and using the courts have been the only answers so far”.

In this vein, Munté addressed the Spanish Vice President and thanked her willingness to have a new approach towards Catalonia. “I congratulate her for her initiative to have a greater presence in Catalonia, since there has been an enormous absence from the Spanish Government so far”. “We hope for these meetings, that [Spain’s Government] wants them to be regular, to show them the Catalan reality that we have always explained”.

Meeting with the opposition before meeting the executive

Munté admitted to being “surprised” by the fact that the Spanish Vice President met with the chief of the opposition, Spanish Unionist Ciutadans’ Inés Arrimadas and with Miquel Iceta, leader of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) before meeting with the Government. Indeed, Sáenz de Santamaría committed to having a meeting with her Catalan counterpart, Oriol Junqueras but reminded that such a meeting doesn’t have a concrete date yet. Junqueras himself requested to meet with Sáenz de Santamaría in order to discuss the list of 46 claims that the Catalan Government wants to transmit to the Spanish executive.  

Although the Catalan Government’s spokeswoman is not aware “neither of the content nor the meaning” of Sáenz de Santamaría’s scheduled meetings with Arrimadas and Iceta, she congratulated the Spanish Vice President for her willingness and “initiative to have a greater presence in Catalonia” especially after the Spanish executive’s “enormous absence” in this sense.

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  • Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté, during the interview with the ACN on the 7th of December 2016 (by ACN)

  • Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté, during the interview with the ACN on the 7th of December 2016 (by ACN)