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Sánchez calls for 'dialogue' and 'agreement' with Catalonia

Spanish president asks opposition PP party to be "brave" and to avoid "extremist positions"

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12 February 2020 12:46 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Spanish president Pedro Sánchez made a call for "dialogue" and "agreement" with Catalonia on Wednesday, and asked the head of the opposition, Pablo Casado, to be "brave" and to prevent his conservative People's Party (PP) from being "dragged" into "extremist" positions.

In the Spanish congress, Sánchez accused the PP party, which was in power during the 2017 independence bid, of leading a "collective failure" that has left "politicians in prison" and "fugitives" in its wake, in reference to the jailed and exiled Catalan independence leaders.

However, the Spanish president went on to appeal to Casado to show "useful and loyal opposition in Spain" and he invited the PP leader to join him on the path of "dialogue" in putting right a situation in which "democracy and politics has lost out."

"No respect for rule of law," says PP head

Yet, Casado accused Sánchez of failing to respect the rule of law with such things as agreeing to talks with the pro-independence Catalan government or proposing to reduce the penalty for sedition, the offense for which the independence leaders were jailed.

"We've already seen that for you the gravity of a coup d'etat depends on what you need from the coup-mongers. But you are going too far," said Casado, in reference to the agreement with the ERC pro-independence party that allowed Sánchez to become president.

The spokeswoman of the pro-independence JxCat party, Laura Borràs, objected to the use of the term "fugitives" to describe exiled leaders, such as former president Carles Puigdemont, who she insisted are "European parliamentarians" and "free citizens."

Esquerra asks Socialists to halt spread of fascism

Pro-independence Esquerra Republicana party spokesperson Gabriel Rufián called on the Spanish government to act as a true left-wing party to stop the spread of fascism in Spain. 

Rufián asked Sánchez how he planned on preventing "the rise of fascism" to which the Spanish president responded by inviting him and his party to discuss proposals on how to deal with the legacy of the Francoist dictatorship.

Measures the ERC politician believes should be put forth in this department include the annulment of verdicts handed down by Francoist judges, the dignification of executed Catalan president Lluís Companys' memory, and for awards given to torturers such as former policeman 'Billy el Niño' be withdrawn.

 

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  • Spanish president Pedro Sánchez speaking in the congress session on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 (image loaned by Spanish Congress)

  • Spanish president Pedro Sánchez speaking in the congress session on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 (image loaned by Spanish Congress)

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