Pedro Sánchez confirms meetings with Carles Puigdemont and Oriol Junqueras  

Talks with pro-independence leaders to take place after amnesty law passed in Congress 

Pedro Sánchez and Carles Puigdemont meeting in 2016
Pedro Sánchez and Carles Puigdemont meeting in 2016 / Mateos P.

ACN | @agenciaacn | Catalonia

December 19, 2023 04:49 PM

December 19, 2023 06:40 PM

Spain's Socialist prime minister Pedro Sánchez has confirmed that he will meet separately with former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont of Junts and former vice-president Oriol Junqueras of Esquerra Republicana in the coming months.

A meeting with Puigdemont was previously discussed by Junts and has now been confirmed by Sánchez. Although no date has been set, it is expected to take place within the first months of 2024, after the new amnesty law is passed in Congress.   

Sánchez confirmed to the press on Tuesday that he expects the meeting to be the first of many, and that they are in line with the government’s Catalonia strategy and process of “normalizing” politics.     

The meeting will take place without a mediator and cameras will be present.   

The price of independence 

Although some surveys suggest that the Spanish Socialist Party, PSOE, has lost 600,000 voters over the amnesty law, Pedro Sánchez maintains he is not afraid of losing votes over the amnesty question or future meetings with the pro-independence leaders.

The prime minister added that the PSOE had gained over a million new votes in the last general election.   

Confidence in the law  

According to Pedro Sánchez, a pedagogical approach is needed. He also has stressed that, unlike the 2021 pardon of the Catalan leaders, the expected amnesty law has been approved by a majority in the Spanish Congress.  

Sanchez also said that the PSOE is confident that the amnesty law is constitutional and that it will not be overturned by judges.  

No judges in Pegasus espionage commissions  

The Socialist leader has also said that this party will object to Junts’ and ERC’s proposal of appointing judges to the commissions set to investigate the Pegasus and ‘Operation Catalonia’ espionage cases against Catalan independence leaders.  

Meeting with President Aragonès  

Meanwhile, Catalan president Pere Aragonès will meet with Pedro Sánchez on Thursday at the headquarters of the Catalan executive. It will be the first institutional meeting since Sánchez was reelected as Prime Minister of Spain for another term in November.  

The two leaders will discuss the transfer of the Rodalies commuter train line from Spain to Catalonia, as well as a new tax system, both part of the investiture agreement between the Socialists and Aragonès' party, Esquerra Republicana.    

Dialogue meeting 

The two leaders will also continue the dialogue table between the administrations aimed at resolving the territorial conflict between Catalonia and Spain.  

The first was with Quim Torra as president in February 2020, right before the pandemic began. The second meeting was held in May 2021, with Aragonès as president, while the most recent came in July 2022.