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The new Catalan president, Quim Torra, has sent a letter to the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, to ask him for a meeting without conditions. "I'm willing to start this dialogue tomorrow itself", he writes in the letter, the first he has sent since swearing the oath of office as president yesterday. He also warns that his government will be faithful to the "democratic expression of the 1st October [referendum]".

When it comes to the meeting, Torra proposes it should happen: "with no conditions, with the proper mutual institutional respect, with the willingness to talk about everything, without a time limit and in the format we agree to be the most appropriate".

The president reminds the prime minister that his government's plans are those supported by the majority of voters in last year's election who voted for pro-independence parties. He also notes that the situation in the country is exceptional due to the existence of "Catalan politicians, democratic and honourable, with full political rights, in pretrial detention and in exile".

 

Torra emphasises that it's the first letter he has sent since formally taking office and that dialogue was one of the key themes of his investiture speech. "It's clear that there is a political conflict between Catalonia and the Spanish state, and that it has to be faced through politics alone.," he writes.

The president already offered the Spanish state dialogue on Tuesday, alongside the president in exile, Carles Puigdemont, the day after being voted the new president in the Catalan Parliament.

 

Full text:

Dear President Rajoy,

In my investiture speech, I said that one of the important ideas for this legislature would be dialogue. And that's how it will be, because it's part of who we are, because we're convinced that it's the best way to move forwards.

It's clear that there is a political conflict between Catalonia and the Spanish state, and that it has to be faced through politics alone. We have to redirect politics to politics. For this reason, I wanted my first letter, after taking the oath of office as president of Catalonia yesterday, to be addressed to you, to propose a meeting. I'm willing to start this dialogue tomorrow itself. With no conditions, with the proper mutual institutional respect, with the willingness to talk about everything, without a time limit and in the format we agree to be the most appropriate.

In democracy, we know, whoever enjoys a majority has the right to form a government and fulfil their manifesto. As a result, the political project that the government I will lead will defend will be the one supported by the majority of the citizens of Catalonia [in the Parliament election] on 21st December last year, true to the democratic expression of the 1st October [referendum] and its result. The country's circumstances were, and continue to be, exceptional, thanks to the existence of Catalan politicians, democratic and honourable, with full political rights, in pretrial detention and in exile.

Likewise, I want to put forward that the priorities of my government will be progress and social cohesion, economic prosperity and the defence of democracy and fundamental rights. Principles to allow us to build a better country for the 7.5 million Catalan people. A country which is diverse, civil, respectful, deeply committed to its democratic values and which legitimately aspires to have the best opportunities for the future for all Catalans.

In anticipation of being able to fix the meeting in the coming days and being able to greet you personally,

Yours sincerely,

Quim Torra i Pla.

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