20 days after Alberto Núñez Feijóo tries an investiture for which he does not have enough support, the former president Carles Puigdemont revealed yesterday from Brussels his demands to start negotiations with PSOE or PP. Conditions that the socialists assume as the opening of a new way of dialogue with Junts, but that the popular reject outright.
In a speech lasting barely half an hour, Puigdemont addressed the two major parties to demand political recognition of the conflict, an amnesty law, a control mechanism to monitor the agreements reached and accept international law as the limit of the talks. Issues that must be finalized before moving on to the next phase and sitting down to negotiate the investiture.
He left self-determination for later talks, and although he assured that he did not renounce “unilateralism” – a message intended for his own and ERC – he ordered them to explore a possible referendum “agreed with the Government”. All this within the Constitution.
"If there is an agreement, this has to be a historic agreement like the one that no Spanish regime or government has been able to make a reality since the fall of Barcelona on September 11, 1714," said the former president, who acknowledged not knowing whether PSOE or PP will accept their conditions to avoid electoral repetition. “We will know in the next few weeks,” he said.
The arithmetic of the ballot box has returned Puigdemont to the forefront of the political scene. On Monday his public rehabilitation took place during the meeting in Brussels with Yolanda Díaz and Jaume Asens and, yesterday, his "special moment" in which he outlined his demands with an eye toward an amnesty law "that includes the broad spectrum of the repression started before the consultation of 9-N of 2014”. He maintained that this is the responsibility of the acting government, through the State Attorney General's Office and the State Attorney's Office.
Putting together an amnesty law in little more than two months is extremely complex, as many constitutionalists who Puigdemont mentioned yesterday refer to it. Hence the second of the ex-president's demands to establish a control mechanism for the agreements reached that can give guarantees of compliance. This would make it possible to initiate the processing of the norm at the expense of the subsequent investiture pact with the Socialists.
The conditions imposed yesterday by Junts do not bother the Government, which now considers a possible agreement with Puigdemont's party more feasible. They say that the former president's message was harsh, but he did not seek confrontation or cross the limits of the Constitution, for which reason government sources maintain that a new channel of dialogue has been opened with Junts that had been closed for years.
The acting government spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, mentioned yesterday that the approach of the acting government president, Pedro Sánchez, to be re-elected goes through "dialogue, a framework that is the Constitution and an objective that is coexistence."
In the Government they consider that Sánchez's policy has been endorsed by the polls in Catalonia, where the PSC obtained good results and after Puigdemont's top speech there is room for negotiation and dialogue.
They also do not hide that in Europe they are following the movements of the former president, who is an MEP, with interest, and that if the talks fail, it would not be understood that he would open the doors to a possible government in Spain in which the extreme right was present. All in all, they say that now is the time for the inauguration of Núñez Feijóo, who every day finds it more difficult to put together an alternative majority to the progressive bloc.
Precisely, yesterday shortly before Puigdemont's act in Brussels, Feijóo was meeting with Santiago Abascal in the round of meetings that he is holding ahead of the investiture at the end of the month. After learning of Junts' demands, Feijóo, who had planned to meet with the post-convergents, refused to hold said meeting. "If the amnesty is the requirement and the conditions are those announced by Puigdemont, we can save it," he said.
A step back in his plans that occurs after Isabel Díaz Ayuso described this weekend as "inexperienced" the attempts of the PP leader to negotiate with the post-convergents and that Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo joined the criticism of the president of the popular Catalans, Alejandro Fernández, for opening the dialogue with the independentistas.
They were more satisfied yesterday with Puigdemont's words at ERC, where they celebrated the former president's return to the political path in which Junts "had left them alone" in the last four years. Teresa Jordà, who attended the event in Brussels, assured that the framework proposed by Junts to start the negotiations is "logical". Shortly after, President Pere Aragonès spoke, calling on Puigdemont once again for a joint strategy in talks with the State to “have more strength” and “multiply its effects”.
A siren song that it seems that the former president does not listen or does not want to listen in light of the criticisms launched against the Republicans on the dialogue table or the reform of the Penal Code. Issues that, like the pardons, are part of the strategic line assumed by ERC in the last legislature and have served as ammunition to accuse the Republicans of being autonomists.