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The first public encounter between Pere Aragonès and Pedro Sánchez since the confirmation that Spanish intelligence had spied on the Catalan president took place in front of a cloud of photographers at the doors of the W Hotel in Barcelona. It was an exchange of impressions with a very serious attitude which lasted a few minutes but which Aragonès took advantage of, according to sources in the Generalitat, to warn Sánchez about the need to hold a meeting urgently.

"The situation is very serious. An urgent meeting is needed," the Catalan president warned the Spanish prime minister as they waited at the hotel door, where the Cercle d'Economia business gathering is being held, for the arrival of the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, who today was awarded the business association's prize for the construction of Europe. From the Spanish government palace they say that Sánchez took advantage of these moments to warn Aragonès that "the situation must be resolved", as well as calling on the president to "think about the Catalans". They both agreed to arrange a meeting. In his subsequent speech to the Cercle, Sánchez made no reference to the Catalangate espionage.


Aragonès, accompanied by the Spanish ministers of culture, Miquel Iceta, and infrastructures, Raquel Sánchez, and the president of the Cercle, Javier Faus, received Sánchez when he got out of his vehicle, with all the cameras awaiting for the tone of the greetings exchanged the day after the director of the CNI intelligence agency had explained to Congress's official secrets committee that they had spied on Aragonès with judicial authorization. The president, who has publicly expressed his irritation with the Spanish executive and demanded accountability for what happened, received the Spanish president without making any effort to conceal the coldness of the moment, with a serious expression on his face.

After this first greeting, which lasted a few moments, Sánchez greeted the rest of the authorities who were waiting for him, and stood in his place at the head of the entourage, right next to Aragonés, with whom he had the opportunity to exchange further impressions while waiting for the arrival of Von der Leyen - together, in front of the media who were studying the faces and gestures very closely. It was just over two minutes of conversation, maintaining a serious attitude, and with the president of the Cercle trying with great difficulty to maintain the reporters' distance from the line of authorities. However, for the moment, nothing more of what they said has come to light.

Once Von der Leyen arrived, the whole entourage entered the hotel and went to the terrace where they continued to talk, now with the president of the EU Commission, until it was time for the official event. In the middle of the bubble of security people, the Spanish PM even found himself blocked inside the revolving doors of the hotel for a few moments. In fact, everything had been staged, because Sánchez and Von der Leyen had been at the hotel previously, taking the opportunity to have their own meeting before the official occasion. On arrival, their vehicles had entered the hotel via a side ramp and, to then enact the protocol reception, they went back down the same ramp. In reality, the last to arrive was the president of Catalonia.