The minutes from the terrorist group ETA which have come light now having been seized in 2008 from Javier López Peña, alias "Thierry", one of those in charge of the organisation at that time, have revealed how the Spanish state had continued negotiating, even at times when the social pressure for them to not do so was at its strongest. Specifically, with José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero in the Moncloa government palace and after the attack on terminal 4 at Madrid-Barajas airport, on 30th December, when two people died. Zapatero and his PSOE government kept a channel open with ETA and governmental emissaries addressed, at least, how they would be standing in the municipal elections in May 2007, just five months after the Barajas attack.
It's good to learn of these things and evaluate them: noise in the media is one thing, the steps people discretely try to take another. Zapatero was always set on getting the matter of ETA back on track; the political and media pressure for him to not do so was enormous. Discretion helped him and, on the other hand, the new Catalan Statute fell off a cliff, crashing first against the Congress and then being completely stripped out by the Constitutional Court. A lot has happened since then and two further tenants, Rajoy and Sánchez, have occupied the Moncloa. Finding a solution to the Catalan problem has never been the priority for any Spanish prime minister since Suárez and the restoration of democracy, who returned Tarradellas from exile in France.
The peaceful Catalan process has met with police repression, prison and exile from the Spanish state. Everything expect the necessary dialogue required in any conflict. Pedro Sánchez and Mariano Rajoy before him have ended up publicly treating the Catalan independence movement as if there were no tomorrow when they'd have to sit down to speak again. The first through negligence and the second short-sightedness. It's hard to understand.