Sánchez open to dialogue between Spanish and Catalan governments
Acting president accepts ERC party head's call for negotiations, but insists talks must be within the framework of "our democratic laws"
Acting Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, accepted on Friday that dialogue "must be the method" for breaking the political deadlock, after the jailed head of ERC, Oriol Junqueras, said his party's support for Sánchez depends on talks between Spain and Catalonia.
In an interview with a Spanish newspaper, Junqueras said "if there are no negotiations between the governments, we will vote 'no'," in reference to his party's 13 seats in the congress that Sànchez wants in order to form a "progressive" government.
However, in responding to Junqueras from Brussels, where the acting Spanish president was attending a meeting of the European Council, Sánchez insisted that any such talks must be within the framework of "the legal security provided by our democratic laws."
Since winning the November 10 general election without a majority, the Spanish Socialists have been searching for support in congress, and have already held a number of meetings with ERC to reach an agreement that will allow Sánchez to be invested as president.
Yet, in his interview with 'La Razón' newspaper, Junqueras insisted that his party's aim was not to invest Sánchez but rather to "find a democratic solution to the conflict," and the jailed leader made it clear that "the ball is in the Socialists' court."
From Brussels, Sánchez insisted that the only option was for him to be able to form a new government, as "there cannot be a third election," while Spanish government sources in Madrid said the talks between the Socialists and ERC are "advancing."