Read in Catalan

The spokesperson for the People's Party (PP) in Spain's Congress of Deputies, Miguel Tellado, has denied this Monday that his party has ever had contact with Together for Catalonia (Junts), after a weekend in which the leader of his party, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, opened the door to pardoning Carles Puigdemont if a series of conditions were accepted. "There are no contacts and there never have been", he affirmed, in addition to then firing accusations at those who have most benefited over the last few hours from the 'gift' offered by Feijóo: far-right Vox and the governing Socialists (PSOE). He criticized the extreme right party for having "joined" the "intoxication campaign" of the PSOE and the media, which widely reported the admission made by Feijóo this weekend in an informal conversation with journalists. "They were statements taken out of context", said Tellado.

The statements in question, made on Saturday to journalists on the campaign trail in Galicia, indicated that Feijóo had been open to negotiating a pardon of Carles Puigdemont in exchange for Junts voting in favour of his investiture as Spanish prime minister, after last year's general election on July 23rd had left the Catalan pro-independence party with the effective balance of power. The offer from the People's Party, as was reported by journalists present, was that Puigdemont had to be accountable to justice, to carry out his sentence and ask for a pardon; and that also he had to explicitly renounce a referendum and the independence of Catalonia via a unilateral route. The following day, the PP leader tried to deny the story of the negotiations, but further complicated his position when he admitted that at this time "the conditions are not met" to pardon the Catalan president in exile. He also noted that he had dismissed Junts's demand for an amnesty law within 24 hours, implying that the PP had also considered this possibility. Feijóo also noted in his words on Sunday that it would be difficult for an accusation of terrorism against Puigdemont to succeed.

This Monday, however, Tellado stated simply in an interview with Informa Radio that the amnesty legislation for pro-independence leaders, currently passing through its parliamentary stages, is "illegal, unjust and unconstitutional". Thus, he reiterated that, despite the information that has emerged over the weekend, the position of the PP towards Catalan independentism is the same as always, "beyond the intoxication campaign of the PSOE, which unfortunately also includes added Vox, in a very mistaken stand".

Government "stunned" by Feijóo's admission  

Also this Monday, the spokesperson for the Spanish government, Pilar Alegría, stated that she was "stunned" by Feijóo's confession, calling it "a serious matter". Education minister Alegría also claimed that the PP leader is "afraid" that Junts will "tell the truth" about the conversations that the main Spanish opposition party had with Carles Puigdemont when leader Feijóo was a candidate for investiture as Spanish PM. Thus, the Spanish government is calling on Feijóo to explain "what he said to Junts" this past summer.

"All this comes from a letter by Puigdemont," said Alegría this Monday, in reference to the text, published in English by in which the Catalan president had said ominously "that everything will become known." In fact, the Socialist minister criticized that, after the PP had held meetings accusing Junts of being tied up with terrorism crimes, and had also pressured the European Parliament to ask for the investigation of the 'Russian plot', now it turned out that Feijóo "also says that the Catalan independentist case is not terrorism".