The agenda is progressing. Yesterday it was the pardons to the Catalan political prisoners, who have already been released today. And now a step has been taken towards the promised Spain-Catalonia dialogue. This afternoon, the date of the meeting between prime minister Pedro Sánchez and president Pere Aragonès was finally announced. It will take place next Tuesday, June 29th at 5pm at the Moncloa government palace, in Madrid. As well, on July 9th, the Spanish PM will receive the new president of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who has just been sworn in.
Agenda problems have prevented the meeting between Aragonès and Sánchez from taking place before the pardons were granted, as foreseen in the initial plan. But the order of the factors does not alter the product. Next Tuesday, Aragonès will be received at the Moncloa, and predictably, from that will emerge a clearer horizon for the dialogue table - which has not met since its first gathering in February last year - before the health crisis.The positions, however, remain opposed: the Catalan delegation defends the referendum and the amnesty law, while the Spanish sides claims it will deepen self-government.
As for the meeting of the dialogue table itself, it remains to be seen whether a July date will be found or, as expected, it will be scheduled for September, after the summer break. However, Spanish government sources uphold that the key aspect is that there is "coordination" between ERC and Junts over this bilateral table, especially in relation to the "attitude" to the initiative, to avoid it being a meeting at cross-purposes.
The day after the pardons were granted, these same Moncloa sources argue that the "main obstacle" claimed by the pro-independence movement - the existence of political prisoners - has now disappeared. That is why they are confident that president Aragonés will make the dialogue table a priority, because there is a lot at stake in it - and these sources in Madrid are convinced that the independence movement will not return to a unilateral path.
The Catalan government has admitted that it is changing to a higher gear in its relation with the state. This was said yesterday by president Pere Aragonès in his institutional statement after the granting of the nine pardons. ""It's time to return to politics, and face it with the maximum discipline and commitment to find an agreed solution that respects the popular will of the people of Catalonia," said the ERC leader, accompanied by all his ministers in the Generalitat palace.