Spain and Catalonia: dialogue but no progress

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met the President of the Government of Catalonia Pere Aragonès in Barcelona on Wednesday to resume the dialogue on Catalan independence dispute after an 18-month break. However, the only result of the meeting was the announcement that the parties would continue the talks despite their opposing positions. The Junts party, the more radical junior coalition partner of the Catalan separatist government, boycotted the meeting.

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ABC (ES) /

All just propaganda

ABC sees the dialogue as nothing but diversion tactics:

“No one really knows what they talked about, what agenda they agreed on, what the time frames are, what the agenda of the next meeting will be, or when it will take place. Nothing. The 'table of dialogue' has been nothing but a cover-up for a propagandist act aimed at concealing the real agenda that Sánchez and Aragonès have secretly agreed to in order to keep each other in power without discrediting their messages to their respective voter bases, but also without jeopardising the alliance between PSOE [which governs in Spain] and the ERC [which governs in Catalonia].” (ES) /

Has anybody got a better idea?

Those who reject dialogue have not come up with any alternatives, notes editor-in-chief Ignacio Escolar in

“We're all familiar with the positions of Junts and CUP [two separatist parties], which are still advocating a unilateral declaration of independence. The outcome is obvious. This was already attempted in 2017 and it's clear that the results would be repeated. Arrests, no international recognition, rejection by half of the Catalans, frustration for the other half. It's also clear how the alternative offered by the Spanish right - that of the hard hand, an authoritarian response and recentralisation of the state - would end. We must remember that, to a large degree, this is precisely what landed us in the current situation.”