Former Catalan speaker, Carme Forcadell, positively assessed the holding of a new round table for dialogue and asked to leave "unilateralism for later". "The situation is the same as in October 2017. If we do the same, we will end up the same way", she warned on Monday in an interview on Catalunya Ràdio.
This is a clear response to the statements made yesterday by Catalan vice-president Jordi Puigneró, when he said that the unilateral route cannot be renounced "due to a negotiation issue". "If we want to sit at the negotiating table with a strong position, we must hold the unilateral route card," he explained.
The unilateral card and the dialogue card
But the card that Forcadell wants to play is that of dialogue, as she is not convinced unilateralism can work. When asked whether she believes that the current Catalan government would end up in prison were it to take the unilateral route, the former speaker responded with a resounding "yes", as "nothing has changed" over the last four years. And that is why she has opted for negotiation with the Spanish government: "We now have the dialogue card: let's play it", she said.
It is clear that Forcadell has not ruled out unilateralism, but she believes it should be saved for later. She said she was "sceptical about dialogue", although "curious to know what the Spanish state is proposing". "Let's give it a try", she added.
Repression and amnesty
The former Catalan speaker is "sceptical" about the round table because "repression hinders any dialogue, any solution to the conflict" in reference to the request by the Spanish Prosecutor's Office to prosecute the CDRs of Operation Judas for terrorism. However, Forcadell is sure that "the accusations will come to nothing" and that they will ask for "amnesty at the dialogue table".
"In the face of repression, we will ask for amnesty at the dialogue table," Forcadell announced. The speaker received a pardon from the Spanish government two months ago, but "pardons are not a political solution". "There are still many people who have been repressed", which is why she believes that amnesty should be requested in talks with the Spanish state.
Despite the explicit opposition of Junts and the CUP, Forcadell has strengthened her commitment to the dialogue table. The president of Esquerra Republicana, Oriol Junqueras, did the same yesterday and added that, if the negotiation does not produce results, a new referendum will have to be held with "recognition by the international community".
Forcadell also took advantage of the interview on Catalunya Ràdio to criticise the machismo in Catalan prisons. "They are designed for men", she said, while calling for "a change in the penitentiary system". "It should not be a punitive system, but one of reintegration", he concluded.