The Spanish government has made its last offer to its counterpart in Catalonia: a round table discussion with political parties and the idea of a referendum off the table or nothing. This was the position staked out today by deputy Spanish prime minister Carmen Calvo, who said it's Barcelona that's blocking progress. Under pressure from the right, she warned this is the most they can offer and that they will "never" accept a referendum on self-determination.
In a press conference, Calvo presented the plan, which "is not accepted by the pro-independence parties", which would have involved "two representatives, with decision-making ability in the two areas (Spain-wide and Catalonia), from each of the political groups with representation in Catalonia". It also included the figure of a "rapporteur", which had sparked controversy in recent days: "A person will be proposed by common agreement who will facilitate the coordination of the tasks, of convening the meetings and setting the agendas. Likewise, they will help to create the appropriate conditions for dialogue, vouch for the agreements achieved and will determine the monitoring of their application".
"It's not reasonable to prolong a situation when there's a factor which cannot be saved," the deputy prime minister said. Despite everything, however, she wanted to make it clear that as far as they are concerned negotiations are "absolutely" not over. They say the Catalan government can still back down and accept their "reasonable" proposal.
She also criticised Spain's right-wing parties, saying they're "not helping the dialogue", two days before they plan to hold a demonstration in Madrid. She called on them to show the "loyalty" PSOE showed when they were in opposition.