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The secretary general of Spanish left-wing party Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, has called on Catalan president, Quim Torra, to base dialogue with the Spanish state on republican values. "Only under republican values can a future be constructed in which Spain and Catalonia share a state. Only from republican values can a constitutional and institutional framework be built", he affirmed.

The two politicians met on Monday in Barcelona's Palau de la Generalitat in an encounter at which the Podemos leader backed the need for Catalonia's talks with the Spanish state to be based on dialogue and not on the issue of judicialization and accepted that the response of the monarchy to the 1st October referendum was "extremely clumsy". 

Catalan president Torra is presented by Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias with a copy of the 1930s book ¿Qué pasa en Cataluña? ("What's happening in Catalonia?") written by Spanish journalist Manuel Chaves Nogales

"Republican values are the best way for Catalonia and Spain to continue moving forward side by side and constructing a future together", he said in the press conference that followed the meeting, which had lasted for more than an hour.

According to the Podemos leader, republican values have to be the "inspiration for dialogue", since "only from republican values can two fundamental aspects be understood: social justice and the concept of a pluri-national state". 

"It has to be a dialogue between future and past", said Iglesias, after asserting that the Urdangarin case, which recently saw Spanish king Felipe's brother-in-law sent to jail, had demonstrated that the Spanish monarchy is linked to corruption ―"it's indeniable"― and that Spain's transition from the Franco era to democracy was, in the words of writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, based on a "correlation of weaknesses" rather than a correlation of strengths.

The Podemos politician called on Torra to talk with Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez in spite of the Socialist leader's rejection of Catalonia's right to self-determination because "under no circumstances must this prevent dialogue and the exploration of democratic paths for solving the conflict with Catalonia".

Iglesias defended the transfer of the Catalan prisoners to jails closer to their homes, as allowed for in legislation ―"I understand that Pedro Sánchez agrees with such transfers", he said― and he stated that he intended to visit the prisoners when it was possible.

Pablo Iglesias: "Putting aside our political and ideological differences, the Catalan president and I agree that republican values should inform the future of both Catalonia and Spain, and are probably a pre-condition for the possibility of Spain and Catalonia advancing together in the future."

Stable relationship

Catalan minister for the presidency, Elsa Artadi, took part in the second part of the meeting along with the leader of the Podemos-aligned Catalonia in Common group, Xavier Domènech. For her part, Artadi said that the will of the Catalan government was to maintain a "stable relationship" with Podemos and the 'Commons' group, in order to "develop spaces of dialogue and find points in common so as to keep on working".

Artadi explained that on Friday she had spoken to Spanish territorial administration minister Meritxell Batet in Tarragona about the meeting which Torra and Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez are to hold on July 9th, and that, although the subjects to be discussed at the meeting have not yet been sent to the minister they "will be no surprise to anybody". "There cannot be any red lines. There are subjects that are very important and we understand that there must a dialogue at bilateral level which focuses on the main issue", she said.

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