Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez and Catalan president Quim Torra will head a mini-summit between their governments in Barcelona's Pedralbes palace this Thursday, involving three further ministers from each side, Catalan government sources have told El Nacional.
Either before or after the meeting, planned for 6pm, there will be a formal greeting between the two heads of government, the sources say. The mini-summit will come the day before the planned Spanish cabinet meeting in Barcelona's Llotja de Mar. That meeting on Friday has prompted a series of protests to be organised by pro-independence bodies, including bringing Barcelona to a standstill and blocking key roads around Catalonia.
In this way, both sides are fulfilling their original positions: Madrid had called for a meeting between Sánchez and Torra, and Barcelona was insisting on a bilateral meeting between the two governments. The Catalan side also wanted this meeting to be limited in size to the two heads of states plus three other ministers each, headed by their deputies: Carmen Calvo and Pere Aragonès. From the Catalan government, the ministers joining Torra and Aragonès will be presidency minister Elsa Artadi and justice minister Ester Capella.
The Catalan government sources say that the meeting between Sánchez and Torra will follow protocol but be informal, whilst Madrid isn't counting out giving it more institutional significance.
Later that evening, Sánchez and his senior economics ministers are expected to go to Hotel Sofia to attend the annual awards of the Foment del Treball business association.