The negotiating teams from Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and PSOE have held their first meeting to discuss the possibility of reinvesting Pedro Sánchez as prime minister of Spain. Two and a half hours of talks have seen very little progress. As such, as they've announced in a statement, Catalan pro-independence party ERC is currently maintaining its "no" vote. Spanish centre-left PSOE note their differences, but say they have also found points of agreement. The two sides will meet again next Tuesday, 3rd December, in the Congress, coinciding with the opening of the new legislature.
Although ERC note in both the introduction to and final point of their statement that their "position [...] in relation to the possible investiture remains negative", the first of their conclusions says: "Both sides have established a common starting point in confirming the need to tackle politically a conflict which is, basically, political in nature."
In their second point, ERC says that although the parties' assessments of the situation "do not coincide", they do agree on "the need to be able to return to the path of dialogue between parties and institutions, as well as involve civil society in this." This dialogue, they say, "must be open and sincere". They also reiterate what they are asking for: a negotiating table to find a "democratic solution" based on the principles of it being "between governments, without preconceptions nor prohibited topics, with a timetable and with guarantees of compliance".
PSOE, meanwhile, say today's meeting was a "first contact" which revealed the existence of "differences, but also of points of agreement and, in any case, a shared wish for dialogue which may allow for unblocking the formation of a government and ensure the political stability needed to tackle" some of the issues facing Spain.
They say the meeting took place "in an atmosphere of constructive dialogue and with a wish for understanding." They add that it's a "first step to get the country out of the situation of deadlock it finds itself in at this moment and to give Spain the progressive government the citizens have elected."