The second vice-president of the Government, Yolanda Díaz, has shown herself to be optimistic after meeting for almost three hours with Carles Puigdemont at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels. With a concise “yes” the leader of Sumar answered the question asked to both leaders if they left with a good feeling. “Yes, of course,” Díaz responded to whether there will be new meetings with the former Catalan president, on whose party, Junts, the investiture of Pedro Sánchez depends. However, this issue is not expressly mentioned in the joint statement that the teams of Díaz and Puigdemont have agreed to, who did not say anything to the journalists when leaving the meeting with the vice president.
“We agree to explore all the democratic solutions to unblock the political conflict,” reads the brief statement released to the media after the concise words of the leader of Sumar as she left the room where they also met with the leader of En Comú Jaume Asens and MEP Toni Comín. One of the objectives of that meeting was to address the investiture of the socialist leader, Pedro Sánchez, although PSOE sources distance themselves from these conversations and emphasize that Díaz has come on behalf of Sumar and not on behalf of the Government.
“We share the deep conviction that politics must be done based on dialogue and democratic principles”, adds the note signed by the two formations: “We share the deep conviction that political problems must return to political channels, to find solutions based on in the dialogue. Democracy consists of dialogue between different positions”.
Puigdemont has also expressed his satisfaction on the networks for a meeting that, he said, “is part of democratic normality in the European Union.” “Dialogue and maintaining political relations between formations of different ideologies should not be surprising or exceptional,” said the former president.
Díaz’s visit also aims to normalize the relationship with Puigdemont, who has been out of Spain for almost six years to avoid the judicial process. “The meeting has been fruitful and allows a normalized and stable relationship to be established between both political formations”, reads the text after the first meeting of a member of the Executive with Puigdemont since he went to Belgium after the unilateral declaration of independence on October 1 of 2017.
The meeting takes place the day before Carles Puigdemont reveals, in a public appearance, what his conditions are for supporting the investiture of Pedro Sánchez. Last week, the Junts leader assured that the negotiations had not started, although he did speak of conversations with “different political actors”, of which he also said that they served to test the possibilities of opening a formal negotiation.
Sumar already made progress shortly after the July 23 elections and appointed Jaume Asens as negotiator on behalf of Díaz before Puigdemont and his entourage in Brussels, with whom he maintains a good relationship. Since then, the formation has tried to build bridges with the Junts leadership to try to favor negotiation in view of an investiture. The second vice president had advanced a few weeks ago that both herself and Asens negotiated “at the highest level” with Junts and with other political formations.
This is one more step in our firm commitment to open a new era of solutions based on dialogue and democracy,” sources from Yolanda Díaz’s coalition have reported. ”We said it since we were born, throughout the campaign and we reaffirm it now: we are the ones who are thinking of solutions for the next decade. That is why this has to be a legislature of social and plurinational progress. And we are getting to work“add the same sources.
Moncloa, however, distances itself from that meeting as well as from the conversations that the second vice president has started with Junts and socialist sources point out that they are following their own path in the face of the negotiations for the investiture of Sánchez.
The meeting between Díaz and Puigdemont has been criticized by the PP. Specifically, its general secretary, Cuca Gamarra, has charged against the fact that the PSOE has distanced itself from the meeting. “Is she a part-time vice president? Fixed discontinuous, perhaps? A vice president is 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, especially when she is going to negotiate her own future in the Government”, she assured through the X social network. Feijóo’s intention is to meet with Junts within the framework of his conversations for the investiture that the king commissioned him despite the fact that the numbers do not come out for him to go ahead.
Add commitment to amnesty
Parallel to these formal contacts, some voices within Sumar began to bet on an amnesty as the key to unlock this possible investiture of Pedro Sánchez. Another prominent member of the comuns and deputy for the coalition led by Díaz Gerardo Pisarrello defended in a forum in this newspaper that the State should “renounce the criminal persecution” of the independence movement to propose an “alternative for the future.”
The amnesty is, according to Pisarello, a logical step after the pardons for the convicted pro-independence politicians. A measure that, in the opinion of the member of Catalunya en Comú, would not imply the political oblivion of the past, but “renouncing a punitive logic that has prevented us from rethinking that past freely, learning from mistakes, and proposing new alternatives for the future”.
Just a few weeks ago, Díaz herself assured in an interview on La 1 de Televisión Española that an amnesty could be constitutional. “There are multiple assumptions, there are people who have put ballot boxes; There are law enforcement officers who are also prosecuted for different behaviors. This is the complexity of this norm, but I maintain, like many other legal scholars, that it is absolutely constitutional, ”she said.
In Podemos, this Monday they have valued the news, which they found out shortly before Sumar made it official. “We welcome all the initiatives to assemble that progressive, democratic and plurinational majority that allows us to close the doors to the ultra-right,” party spokesman Javier Sánchez Serna said at a press conference.