dialogue with Spain deepens the division between the Catalan parties | World news
MADRID (AP) – Catalonia’s leader in northeastern Spain has announced he is excluding a separatist party from its ruling regional coalition from talks with the central government aimed at resolving tensions over independence sentiment growing in the region.
Catalan President Pere Aragonès has also said he will urge Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sànchez to accept a referendum on the region’s independence when they meet in Barcelona, the Catalan capital, on Wednesday.
The Catalan regional government’s junior partner, Ensemble pour la Catalogne (JxCat), had offered to send to talks two of its members who had served prison terms for their role in a tumultuous attempt for Catalan independence four years ago. years.
Catalonia’s 2017 secession campaign galvanized separatist sentiment amid a Spanish crackdown on the organizers of an illegal independence referendum.
Speaking on television on Tuesday, Aragonès said the meeting was between the Spanish and Catalan governments and that members of the two delegations should be members of the regional cabinet and not representatives of political parties.
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Together for Catalonia is the party that has Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan leader who was elected to the European Parliament as he fought against extradition from Belgium to Spain in the 2017 candidacy.
His party has taken a more radical approach to confront the Spanish national government, while the more left-wing ERC that Aragonès represents tries to gain economic gains from talks with Sánchez’s left-wing coalition while pushing for independence. .
Expectations of an outcome in the talks remain extremely low. The central government said any vote on Catalonia’s future should be on a proposal to improve the northeast region’s relations with the rest of Spain.
Catalan voters have for several years been roughly evenly divided on the issue of secession, with half in favor and half wanting to stay in Spain.
The split in the separatist ranks also manifested itself on Saturday, when pro-independence Catalans held their first large rally since the start of the pandemic. Aragonès and other ERC leaders were booed by some demonstrators.
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