Rajoy to meet opposition leaders to discuss Catalonia this week
Spanish president will meet socialist leader on Tuesday and head of unionist Cs party on Thursday
Spanish president Mariano Rajoy will on Tuesday meet opposition leader Pedro Sánchez, head of Spain’s PSOE socialist party, to discuss the situation in Catalonia. On the agenda will be Quim Torra’s appointment as Catalan president and the issue of restoring self-rule to Catalonia. Meanwhile, the unionist Ciudadanos (Cs) party has confirmed that its leader, Albert Rivera, will also meet Rajoy on Thursday morning.
About Tuesday’s meeting, a PSOE spokesman said on Monday that each time Sánchez has met the Spanish president he has called for political solutions to the crisis in Catalonia rather than draconian measures, such as imposing direct rule via Article 155 of the Constitution or the prosecutions of Catalan pro-independence leaders in the courts. “The government has to accept that it has the responsibility to find political solutions,” said the PSOE spokesman.
"The government has to accept that it has the responsibility to find political solutions"
José Luis Ábalos · Spanish Socialist party spokesman
The Spanish socialists are thus keen to distance themselves from the stance of the Cs party, which favors maintaining direct rule in Catalonia even though a new president has been appointed and soon a new government. In fact, the socialist spokesman said that “recovering normality” in Catalonia was a priority, and even stated that his party supported a meeting between Rajoy and the new president, “as long as he complies with his obligations.”
The insistence on the new president remaining within the law was reiterated by Rajoy on Monday. While the prime minister said he did not like Torra’s message, he said he would judge him by “his actions and not his words.” Rajoy also responded to Rivera’s call to maintain direct rule in Catalonia even with a new government, saying it would “not resolve anything.” According to the original conditions agreed in the Senate, once a Catalan government is formed, Article 155 and direct rule will automatically cease.