On Wednesday, President Carles Puigdemont and acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy held a meeting at the Moncloa Palace in attempts to narrow differences on the budget, social policy and the issue of a referendum in Catalonia. While both representatives described the atmosphere as “cordial”, President Puigdemont noted the “profound differences” regarding the central government’s political stance.
During the meeting, which was held in Madrid, the Head of the Catalan Government presented a document with 46 proposals in matters concerning social rights, State non-compliance and interference in Catalonia, and the politicisation of the justice system in Spain. One of the key areas of the document included the question concerning the relationship between Catalonia and Spain, which, according to Puigdemont, called for a “political answer” that responds to the “democratic mandate of the Catalan Government”. In this respect, Puigdemont affirmed that despite the lack of desire by the central Administration to negotiate, the Catalan Government will continue “building state structures and a legal framework that allows us to establish an independent state”.
Speaking to members of the press from the Centre Cultural Blanquerna, the President affirmed that the Government of Catalonia “will never leave the negotiating table, even if it means being left alone, as is presently the case”. “I think today’s meeting could have gone well, but sadly this wasn’t the case […] there has been no specific proposal or margin to negotiate”, explained the President in reference to the referendum. However, despite the refusal of the Spanish government to negotiate, Puigdemont reiterated his “unequivocal willingness to find a space for negotiation and agreement”.
Meeting between Catalan and Spanish vice presidents
Despite, the foreseeable failure to reach any tangible agreement, both leaders did agree to schedule another meeting between their respective vice presidents, Oriol Junqueras and Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, to examine the list of the 46 policy issues raised in the document. The meeting will be held on Thursday 28th of October after the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council meeting in Madrid.