BARCELONE, September 15 (Hfrance.fr) - Spain's Prime Minister and Catalonia's regional leader say their positions on independence remain "very distant " after talks resumed on Wednesday to improve ties damaged by the northeastern region failed the 2017 separatist candidacy.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said his visit to Barcelona and the reopening a dialogue sent a powerful message that his government wants to improve relations, although he insisted that a flexible timeframe was needed to reach an agreement as he laid out more than 40 questions potential agreement.
But he stressed that his position regarding Catalonia's demand for an authorized referendum on independence remained unchanged.
"The Spanish government will always respect democratic legalitye, constitutional order, "Sanchez told reporters after meeting with Catalonia's leader Pere Aragones, whose squerra Republicana de Catalunya party was instrumental in allowing his Socialist-led minority government to take office in 2020.
Sanchez again seeks support from left-wing separatists Esquerra will pass the 2022 budget in the coming weeks, although he has said that the issue had not been discussed.
Esquerra had said it had resumed talks - interrupted since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020 - was an essential precursor to the budget negotiations. After meeting with Sanchez, Aragones said the talks could facilitate party support.
In what it said to be a gesture of goodwill, Sanchez pardoned nine Catalans in June.Separatist leaders who have beenSentenced to long prison terms for their role in the 2017 unauthorized referendum and short-lived declaration of independence, which was Spain's worst political crisis in decades.
"Our proposal is an amnesty and an endum dismissal ", said Aragones, referring to the some 3,000 separatists who, according to the separatist parties, are facing investigations open judicial proceedings while calling for pardons a first step in the right direction.
Noting the Reporting by Joan Faus Editing by Nathan Allen and Angus MacSwan
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