Leftist Podemos chief to join talks with Catalan separatists

Iglesias himself told private television station La Sexta on Monday (10 February) that Spain’s socialist PM Pedro Sánchez -only a few months ago Iglesia’s political rival- had asked him to take part in that dialogue table. [EPA/ JUAN CARLOS HIDALGO]

Pablo Iglesias, the leader of the leftist Unidas Podemos party who is also Spain’s Minister for Social Rights, will take part in a “Mesa de Diálogo” (dialogue table) with Catalan separatist leaders, alongside members of the socialist party (PSOE), EURACTIV’s partner EFE reports.

Iglesias told private television station La Sexta on Monday (10 February) that Spain’s socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had asked him to take part in the dialogue table. 

On 6 February, Sánchez and Torra agreed to start a “constructive dialogue” in order to break the country’s political impasse and solve the “political conflict” in Catalonia, as Catalan separatists describe it.

However, Iglesias did not reveal the names of other members of the leftist government coalition who will also participate in the first round of the “dialogue” with Catalonia’s regional president Quim Torra.

A “Mesa de Diálogo” is an exercise in mediation aimed at exploring solutions to political problems. It is theoretically not a negotiation. 

A ‘sincere, frank and transparent’ dialogue

The moment has come to re-activate the dialogue at a moment when our paths diverged,” Sánchez said after meeting Torra in Barcelona’s Generalitat Palace, where the  Catalan regional government is seated.

Sánchez said he was ready to start a “sincere, frank and transparent” dialogue with Torra while respecting the red lines of the Spanish Constitution.

But Sánchez rejected Torra’s demand to appoint a “mediator” in the talks, saying that “the mediator will be the 47 million Spaniards, who will be informed about all the details” of their dialogue. 

[Edited by Frédéric Simon]

Subscribe to our newsletters