Despite the expected results of the first round of dialogue, both parts explained they found some meeting points, especially the need to recover the dialogue.
The first meeting between the delegations of Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and Esquerra Republicana de Cataluña (ERC) held in Congress has concluded after two and a half hours of negotiations, made up of three representatives from each party.
The result of the encounter was as expected: the abstention of the Republicans to the investiture of Pedro Sánchez. Both groups explained, through communiqués that there are still important discrepancies, but they also found some meeting points, especially the need to recover dialogue. The negotiators will meet again December 3rd in a process that seems long and complex.
ERC demands "a negotiating table that is based on four pillars: that it be between governments, without apriorisms or vetoed issues [that is, one can speak of self-determination and amnesty, for example] with the calendar and with guarantees of compliance."
However, they assured that "both parties have established a common starting point by stating the need to politically address a conflict that is essentially political in nature."
[COMUNICAT] @Esquerra_ERC and the PSOE agree that we are in a conflict of a political nature �� Read the announcement of @ Esquerra_ERC about the meeting between the negotiating teams
Meanwhile, the counterpart declared that “the necessary political stability to face a social rights agenda, recovery of civil rights and of employment curtailed by the government of the PP, the industrial situation in Catalonia and the whole of Spain, in particular the automotive sector”.
The meeting was attended by the PSOE, the spokeswoman for the socialist group in Congress, Adriana Lastra; the secretary of Organization of the PSC, Salvador Illa; and the Minister of Public Works and Secretary of Organization of the PSOE, José Luis Ábalos.
The Socialists insist on these types of social issue so that it is not only an agreement on the table to address the Catalan problem and also as a step to begin to open a space to agree on the 2020 Budgets.
��@Hectorgomezh: Tenemos que establecer un espacio de diálogo para poder tener un Gobierno cuanto antes en España.— PSOE (@PSOE) 28 de noviembre de 2019
Hay una nueva fecha para reunirnos con ERC y nosotros queremos seguir hablando. La solución de Cataluña pasa por el diálogo dentro de la Constitución.#LaNoche24h pic.twitter.com/pKRXyt16kN
Hectorgomezh: We have to establish a space for dialogue so that we can have a Government as soon as possible in Spain. There is a new date to meet ERC and we want to continue talking. The solution of Catalonia goes through the dialogue within the Constitution.
To confirm a new government, Pedro Sanchez's plan A is an investiture with 169 possible yeses (PSOE, United We Can, PNV, More Country, Canary Coalition, PRC, BNG, Teruel Exists) and the abstention of ERC and Bildu (the latter it is not essential, but it goes in the package of the republicans) against the 163 noes of PP, Vox, Citizens, Navarra Suma, Junts per Catalunya and the CUP.
Both groups, which maintain a great opacity throughout the investiture process, especially the PSOE, decided to publish a statement and not appear at the end of the meeting to avoid the most compromised questions.
However, current Spanish Vicepresident, Carmen Calvo, declared that Socialist Party is not going to talk about the right to self-determination because "it does not exist", but that does not mean that ERC is not allowed to raise it at the table, the meeting point that both can reach.
Calvo also referred to the extent to which the PSOE is committed to this “plan A” and wants to push ERC to its most leftist side to help the coalition of Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias. "We have had two elections in a year. This country wants a progressive government. We are heading to a historic left of our country, which is ERC, to face the investiture, and from there, Constitution and dialogue to find ways of solution."
If Plan A fails and there is no agreement with Republicans, the Socialists have no choice but to look at Citizens, who do not seem to be very willing at this time, or the PP to avoid third elections. But all odds show that Sanchez is totally focused on plan A.