Torra insists on resuming the dialogue table with Spain despite wariness in JxCat

Catalan president hopes meeting with the pro-independence bloc can refocus the movement

President Quim Torra speaks with fellow JxCat members Marta Madrenas and Albert Batet in the Catalan parliament (by Sílvia Jardí)
President Quim Torra speaks with fellow JxCat members Marta Madrenas and Albert Batet in the Catalan parliament (by Sílvia Jardí) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 10, 2020 12:09 PM

Catalan president Quim Torra insists on moving forward with the bilateral negotiation table with Spain. The first set of talks with Pedro Sánchez and members of the Spanish government took place in February and were due to be held monthly thereon, but further meetings were postponed due to the ongoing pandemic. 

Government sources confirmed to the Catalan News Agency that Torra has urged the Spanish president to agree to talk about the date and conditions of a referendum

Torra is confident that ERC, the party in coalition in the Catalan government with Torra’s JxCat, will agree that the next bilateral meeting will address these topics. 

However, some voices within JxCat are wary of the future of the dialogue table with Spain, as they predict ERC winning the upcoming Catalan elections, which has no date as of yet. 

On the other hand, Torra hopes that the meeting of the various pro-independence parties and entities will serve to refocus the movement following the peak of the coronavirus crisis.

After the jailed leaders were sentenced to prison terms between 9-13 years for sedition for organizing and holding the independence referendum in 2017, Torra hinted in Parliament that he believed that Catalonia had to once again exercise the right to the self-determination before he finishes his legislature. 

The president of the Catalan government was then considering three possibilities: holding a referendum agreed with Madrid, a snap election anticipating that the independence bloc would exceed 50% of the vote, or applying the mandate of the referendum result. It was his proposal for a "national agreement."

The current coalition government is in disarray from the disagreements and hostility between partners JxCat and ERC. For this reason, Torra wants to gather the various players in the pro-independence movement - from political parties JxCat, ERC, and CUP, as well as civic organisations Catalan National Assembly and Omnium - to refocus the movement and for each of the actors to explain where they stand. 

In this new meeting - which is to take place in the coming days - Torra will put forward self-determination and amnesty as common starting positions. In fact,Torra plans to drop the stance of needing a mediator for the talks, which was one point separating his side from Esquerra Republicana. 

The president, therefore, maintains his commitment to bring self-determination to the negotiating table with the Spanish government, a meeting that he hopes will be held soon.