It is the first time that the PSOE and ERC report a formal conversation between the acting President of the Government and the leader of ERC, pardoned by the Government last term after more than three years in prison. As confirmed by both parties, Pedro Sánchez and Oriol Junqueras spoke by phone this Wednesday for 38 minutes as part of the round of contacts carried out by the investiture candidate for his re-election in Congress.
In a note distributed by Ferraz it is explained that, during that conversation, the leader of the PSOE thanked Junqueras for his party’s support during the last legislature and underlined the “important political and social advances that were carried out during that time.” , according to socialist sources.
Before meeting with the ERC spokesperson in Congress, Gabriel Rufián, Pedro Sánchez conveyed to the Republican leader “his project for the next four years and the need to reach an agreement on progress and stability for this period.”
Junqueras, for his part, referred during that conversation “to the need to advance in the negotiation of the main demands that the Republicans have put on the table in view of a possible investiture”, in addition to agreeing with the leader of the PSOE. in the progress made in recent years after the negotiation carried out by the Republicans in the last legislature. “The president of the Republicans has valued the importance of the advances in political, social and anti-repressive terms as a result of the last years of political negotiation between both parties,” states an ERC statement in reference to the pardons.
“The abnormal thing was that they didn’t speak. That the leader of the PSOE and president of the Government speaks with the leader of the political formation that governs Catalonia is normal. So today is a good day,” the parliamentary spokesperson for the Republicans, Gabriel Rufián, assessed at a press conference, after participating in the meeting with Pedro Sánchez in which the Minister of the Presidency and negotiator of the PSOE with ERC, Félix Bolaños.
Rufián has presented the demands that his political party has posed to the socialists in view of the investiture of Pedro Sánchez, and which basically have to do with the amnesty law, with the management of commuter trains in Catalonia and with a referendum that , despite being a red line for the PSOE, has warned that it is not too far away. “We all know what the PSOE is like. Until recently, talk of amnesty was a chimera. It is quite likely that within a while talk of a referendum will cease to be a chimera.”
ERC prefers, for the moment, to rule out that what is being negotiated is an agreement for the entire legislature that includes the approval of the General State Budgets that support the mandates. “ERC votes are sweated. We are negotiating the investiture and we prefer to go week by week,” said Rufián.
The spokesman for the Republicans has once again sent several attacks to the Catalan independentists of Junts to vindicate the work done by their political party during the previous legislature of Pedro Sánchez, in which the votes of Junts were not necessary for the parliamentary majority on the one supported by the Government and those of Puigdemont preferred to stay away from any dialogue.
“ERC is not surprised by anything that is happening. Four years ago we achieved things that seemed unthinkable in exchange for abstention and many people demonized us, especially in Catalonia. Those things now seem to be cool and that cards of good and bad Catalans are no longer distributed,” he explained.
After Gabriel Rufián, the parliamentary spokesperson for the PSOE, Patxi López, has appeared before the press, who has avoided giving details about the negotiations with the parliamentary groups or about the amnesty law, as well as about the possible date of an investiture plenary session that is still is to be fixed. The socialist spokesperson has insisted that, in any case, what his party is negotiating is an “investiture” agreement that will give stability to four years of a progressive government.