Smiles in the handshake, but no other hint of rapprochement. The meeting that Pedro Sánchez held this Friday with the spokesperson for Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) in the Congress of Deputies, Miriam Noguerashas concluded without the party led by Carles Puigdemont having guaranteed its votes for the re-election of the acting President of the Government.
“We are still far from the historic commitment,” summarized the representative of the independence party in a statement to the media after the meeting. “We are not here to listen or to do what has been done in the last four years, because we all know and it has been proven that it has not worked,” she warned.
At the meeting, Nogueras gave Sánchez the transcript of Puigdemont’s conference on September 5 in which he established the conditions of his support for the investiture: recognition of the democratic legitimacy of the independence movement and the independentistas; abandonment of “the judicial route”; an amnesty since 2014 and the creation of a mediation and supervision mechanism that serves to force its interlocutors to keep their promises, including that of a future legal referendum on self-determination.
However, the Junts spokesperson has avoided giving details about what she has discussed with the socialist candidate about these specific issues. “We want to focus on the fact that we are in a transcendent moment, in an extraordinary moment, and we will not enter the game of headlines or leaks, because there are others for that,” she remarked.
Sánchez’s direct involvement in this meeting is not a trivial issue, because he now needs the pro-independence party to change its vote against four years ago to a yes. What has finally not occurred – or, at least, has not been publicly revealed – has been a prior contact with Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium after the illegal independence referendum of 2017, a question to which Nogueras has avoided answering.