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The consequences of the address on Monday by the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, keep resounding on. Government spokesperson Patricia Plaja was already trying to calm things down on Tuesday following criticism from Carles Puigdemont, who accused Aragonès of using him in negotiations with the Spanish state. Two days later, it was president Aragonès himself who wanted to "clarify" the reference he made to the Catalan pro-independence exile during Monday's speech at the MNAC: "I think he understood it." The current president stressed that he does not want to negotiate "on behalf of anyone" and that "ERC did not negotiate the pardons with the Spanish government."

In fact, on Tuesday morning, Puigdemont sent a tweet asking Aragonès to "respect the political strategy of exile", referring to a 2021 article in which he was very forceful in this regard. The ERC politician and current president also explained in a television interview that he had immediately called the exiled president and he believes they understood each other: "I don't want to negotiate on behalf of anyone." Further criticism of the president's speech came from the general secretary of Junts, Jordi Sànchez, who regretted that Aragonès "mixed the dialogue table with the exiles", just what Puigdemont had asked not to be done . During the interview, the president of the Generalitat regretted not yet having spoken to Jordi Sànchez: "I have not received any message. We can't respond to each other through the media."

"Progress and agreements"

The president of the Generalitat demanded that the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, move forward and make tangible agreements at the dialogue table: "He knows that if he wants to continue to exercise responsibilities, he will have come back and talk again and reach agreements." In the same vein, he made it clear that the Spanish executive "must not think that only the passage of time will resolve the substantive issue." The Catalan president defended the dialogue table and affirmed that he believes in it, which is why he once again asked his Junts government partners to join: "The independence movement must put an end to the dynamic of reproaches and mistrust, and move positively to stand up for what unites us: the amnesty and self-determination. "


Autonomous presidents' conference

Meanwhile, Aragonès affirmed that "at the moment" he is not planning to attend the conference of autonomous community presidents to be held on February 25th on the island of La Palma. The Catalan president criticised the fact that the agenda of this meeting "is the same as always" and that there is no point to be brought to agreement, as he considers that it will only be limited to assessing the situation of the pandemic and the European funds. According to him, with the agenda of the conference as it is right now, the meeting will consist of a speech by a Spanish minister or the PM, and then each autonomous president will have five minutes: "This is not federal governance, not even autonomous". "Going there to talk for five minutes while the clock is ticking and there is no point to be agreed on is not very useful," he added, criticizing the fact that the Covid fund was not included in the agenda, as requested by the Generalitat in previous meetings".