The Spanish government started this week lowering any expectations for the upcoming “dialogue” between the Catalan and Spanish administrations. The Spanish executive said that it will “remain seated” at the table until a solution to the Catalan crisis is found, but emphasized that it will not occur any time soon. “No-one is expecting any results in the short term,” said Spokeswoman for the Spanish government María Jesús Montero on Tuesday. She also ruled out the use of a mediator, which was aimed at facilitating the success of the negotiations.
On Thursday, Catalan President Quim Torra and Spain’s PM Pedro Sánchez continued lowering the expectations. They announced that the negotiating table over the Catalan crisis will kick off this month, but that it will be a long process that will not bring immediate results. Both leaders agreed that the first summit between cabinets in February will be chaired by both heads of government.
Spain’s PM Sánchez insisted that the negotiations will not “yield any results” in the short-term. He also spoke about the need to find a way out of the independence crisis through “solutions within the legal framework and with legal security.”
Sánchez said that the fact that Torra proposed a referendum shows “how far the stances of the both parties are from each other,” thus denying the possibility of such a vote for now. He also rejected the use of a mediator for the negotiations.
President Torra cast doubt on Madrid’s thinking about resolving the conflict: “We don’t know what the Spanish government’s proposal is.”
Torra insisted on the idea of self-determination, but revealed Sánchez’s response: “He answered that their stance remains the same: self-government [of Catalonia] within Spain’s constitution.”
“We are facing a long process, it won’t be easy, it will be complex, this is a path we have to walk,” added Torra.
The agreement on creating negotiations between the Spanish and Catalan governments aimed at solving the Catalan crisis was reached by ERC and PSOE in exchange for facilitating Sánchez’s investiture and the formation of a new government. Since then, the Spanish “Socialist” government has unilaterally broken the agreement several times. Last time was last week when the Spanish government said the dialogue would not start until after the Catalan elections, which are expected to take place between spring and autumn. Finally, Sánchez rectified this saying that the dialogue is due start this month.
Due to the negative attitude of the Spanish administration towards letting the Catalans decide their own future as enshrined in international law, it appears that the dialogue has no hope.