The secretary general of left-wing party Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, has retracted a comment he made in an interview this morning on TV channel Antena 3 that he "clearly" would have accepted applying article 155 to Catalonia if his party was in government with PSOE and that was Pedro Sánchez's intention. Article 155 is the part of the Spanish Constitution used by Mariano Rajoy's government in 2017 to take control over the Catalan government, end the legislature in the Catalan Parliament and call an election in Catalonia.
In the interview, he warned that the conflict over Catalonia "won't be solved with judges", but said his party will "always respect" the law and the leadership of PSOE as the party which gained the most votes in the last election. Now, on Twitter, he has written that "Applying [article] 155 to tackle the conflict in Catalonia has always seemed unacceptable to us". He continues: "The conflict must be faced with dialogue and democratic paths which end with the exceptional situation and the repression. We've always said this and say it again."
Aplicar el 155 para enfrentar el conflicto en Catalunya nos ha parecido siempre inaceptable. El conflicto debe afrontarse con diálogo y vías democráticas que acaben con la excepcionalidad y la represión. Lo hemos dicho siempre y lo volvemos a decir— Pablo Iglesias (@Pablo_Iglesias_) 20 de setembre de 2019
After months of failed negotiations between Unidas Podemos and PSOE following April's general election, no agreement has yet been reached to invest a new Spanish government. Without a breakthrough before next Monday, 23rd September, Spain will automatically face a new general election on 10th November. Earlier this week, Cs' Albert Rivera had proposed three conditions to Sánchez for his party to abstain in an investiture vote, which could have been sufficient to see him become prime minister. One of those conditions was that Sánchez had to commit to not pardoning the pro-independence leaders if they are convicted and sentenced and to forming a round table to "plan" the application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to Catalonia if the government doesn't accept the sentence. Sánchez replied that he would do whatever necessary to protect the Constitution and saw the issue as no impediment to Rivera voting against him.