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President Sánchez and President Aragonès

President Aragonès: "We are entering a new stage, we are leaving repression behind and moving towards the resolution of the conflict"

event_note Press Release

President Aragonès: "We are entering a new stage, we are leaving repression behind and moving towards the resolution of the conflict"

  1. The President of the Generalitat and the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, agree to begin a new phase in the negotiation process for the resolution of the political conflict
  2. They also agree on a law to guarantee the linguistic rights of the Catalans, the transfer of the Minimum Living Income, the installation of a chip production centre in Catalonia and the development of the transfer of Rodalies (commuter and regional rail system)


The President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, and the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, held an institutional meeting on Thursday at the Palau de la Generalitat, which served to reach several agreements to take a step forward in resolving the political conflict and to achieve specific measures to strengthen the welfare and linguistic rights of the citizens of Catalonia.

President Aragonès and President Sánchez
President Aragonès and President Sánchez at the entrance to the Palau de la Generalitat | Photo: Arnau Carbonell
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“We are entering a new stage, we are leaving repression behind and moving towards the resolution of the sovereignty conflict with the state. And on this path we are achieving immediate improvements for the lives of Catalans,” said the President of the Generalitat, speaking after the meeting.

The meeting between the two presidents, which lasted for an hour and 15 minutes, took place in a cordial atmosphere and served to confirm the firm will of both governments to continue making progress for the benefit of all citizens.


Convening of the dialogue, negotiation and agreement round table

Both presidents have agreed to initiate a new phase in the negotiation process to resolve the political conflict between Catalonia and the state, giving impetus to the dialogue, negotiation and agreement between the two governments, which will be accompanied by the negotiation space between the two parties, incorporating an international verification mechanism.

President Aragonès and President Sánchez
Meeting between President Aragonès and President Sánchez | Photo: Arnau Carbonell
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Prior to this, the contents will be worked on in the negotiating space between the two parties, which will continue to meet discreetly and at established intervals, incorporating the agreed international verification mechanism. “An international verification mechanism that should contribute to generating the context, the conditions, the climate of security and confidence in the negotiation, which is essential to be able to reach agreements,” the president pointed out.

At Thursday's meeting, President Aragonès told President Sánchez that the political conflict between Catalonia and Spain must be resolved democratically through a referendum that allows the citizens of Catalonia to freely decide their political future, and this will be the proposal that the Government will take to the negotiating forum. In this regard, the head of the Catalan Government assured that he will defend “the need to talk about the terms and conditions of the referendum and the ways to make it possible”.


Organic Law to Guarantee Plurilingualism

The meeting also served for both presidents to agree on the passing of the Organic Law to Guarantee Plurilingualism during the first session of the Congress of Deputies in 2024. This law will guarantee the right of the citizens of Catalonia to address the General State Administration, and especially the Justice Administration present in Catalonia or with jurisdiction throughout Spain, and to be answered in Catalan.

President Aragonès and President Sánchez at the Palau de la Generalitat
President Aragonès and President Sánchez at the Palau de la Generalitat | Photo: Jordi Bedmar
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It will also serve to consolidate Catalonia's educational model and the use of the Catalan language in the Justice Administration and in public media programmes and regional programmes, with the consequent budgetary allocation through the General State Budget for its effective application. Aragonès pointed out that in recent months progress has been made in the institutional recognition of Catalan, and he considers that this new law will be a further step towards “achieving the full normalisation of our language”.


Transfer of the management of the MLI

Both heads of government also finalised the agreement for the transfer of the management of the Minimum Living Income (MLI) to the Generalitat de Catalunya by means of a decree law to be passed by the Spanish Government's Council of Ministers on Wednesday 27 December. Thus, the Generalitat will incorporate the management of this benefit “to deal with the challenges of the fight against poverty, especially child poverty in Catalonia, aligning it with instruments that we already have such as the Guaranteed Citizens’ Income, “added the head of the Executive.


Chip pre-production site (Innofab)

President Aragonès also agreed with President Sánchez to promote the project to set up the Innofab technology centre in Catalonia for the pre-production of chips based on emerging materials – alternatives to silicon. It will be located next to the ALBA Synchrotron and will be part of a network of about ten research centres.

This agreement will allow the project to move forward as quickly as possible given its pivotal nature and its contribution to strategic autonomy. The final agreement will include an adequate funding scheme, as well as a shared and balanced governance structure.

Aragonès stressed that this project “will place Catalonia at the forefront of European efforts to develop a European chip industry” and help Catalonia to play a leading role in the advance towards strategic autonomy in Europe, and he estimated the investment at 300 million euros.


Development of the agreement to finalise the complete transfer of the Rodalies service to the Generalitat de Catalunya

In addition, both presidents have undertaken to begin negotiations to complete the entire transfer of Rodalies to the Generalitat de Catalunya. Thus, a first public meeting will be held in January to begin negotiations to materialise the agreement on the transfer of Rodalies. This meeting will serve to finalise a schedule of meetings to implement the agreement; a timetable for the constitution of the new mixed commercial company to operate the Rodalies commuter and regional rail service in Catalonia; a timetable for the constitution in the first quarter of 2024 of the Generalitat-State Commission to deal with the transfer of the railway infrastructure; and the inclusion, in the General State Budgets of 2024, of the items corresponding to the different concepts, which President Aragonès has set at around 600 million euros.

He also concluded that this transfer of competence is the most important in recent decades and “will serve to update the local train network in our country and, above all, to improve a service that is far from the quality standards that are minimally required”.



Furthermore, both presidents expressed their conviction that the culmination of the de-judicialisation process thanks to the future Amnesty Act will allow the political and institutional dialogue to be tackled in appropriate political and social conditions, and therefore ratified their commitment to the passing of the Amnesty Act. Aragonès claimed that “the amnesty is entering a new phase of negotiation, the phase of resolving the sovereignty conflict with Spain, which we believe should be done more democratically, through the ballot box and through the vote”.



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Images

El president de la Generalitat, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, rep al Palau de la Generalitat al president del govern espanyol, Pedro Sánchez, amb qui manté una reunió institucional i de treball. Fotografies: Arnau Carbonell i Jordi Bedmar (1 MB)

El president de la Generalitat, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, rep al Palau de la Generalitat al president del govern espanyol, Pedro Sánchez, amb qui manté una reunió institucional i de treball. Fotografies: Arnau Carbonell i Jordi Bedmar (1 MB) 704890

El president de la Generalitat, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, rep al Palau de la Generalitat al president del govern espanyol, Pedro Sánchez, amb qui manté una reunió institucional i de treball. Fotografies: Arnau Carbonell i Jordi Bedmar (1 MB)

El president de la Generalitat, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, rep al Palau de la Generalitat al president del govern espanyol, Pedro Sánchez, amb qui manté una reunió institucional i de treball. Fotografies: Arnau Carbonell i Jordi Bedmar (1 MB) 1617146

El president de la Generalitat, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, rep al Palau de la Generalitat al president del govern espanyol, Pedro Sánchez, amb qui manté una reunió institucional i de treball. Fotografies: Arnau Carbonell i Jordi Bedmar (1 MB)

El president de la Generalitat, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, rep al Palau de la Generalitat al president del govern espanyol, Pedro Sánchez, amb qui manté una reunió institucional i de treball. Fotografies: Arnau Carbonell i Jordi Bedmar (1 MB) 1546021