MADRID – A week after pardoning Catalan leaders, Prime Minister Sánchez of Spain declares that there will never be a new referendum on self-determination in Catalonia. He explained the rationale behind the pardon to Parliament.
The Spanish prime minister told Parliament he still stands behind his decision to pardon Catalan leaders. They were sentenced to years in prison in 2019 for organising an illegal referendum to secede from Spain.
The pardon, Sánchez said, was necessary to “open a new phase of dialogue that will allow for reunification and coexistence between Spain and Catalonia.” However, the pardon does not mean he will forget the actions of the Catalan leaders, he said.
First meeting of leaders Spain and Catalonia has already taken place
Tuesday saw the first meeting between Pedro Sánchez and the regional president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès. During this meeting, both leaders discussed follow-up talks between the Spanish government and the Generalitat. The next meeting will take place in the third week of September.
“There will never be a referendum on self-determination in Catalonia”
Although the two leaders have begun to improve ties, Sánchez told Parliament on Wednesday morning he sees no possibility of a new referendum on self-determination in Catalonia in the future. His party, the PSOE, will never allow this option to be added to the constitution.
Territorial disputes hinder economic and social progress
Although the Spanish Prime Minister does not rule out mutual ideological differences, he emphasises that he does not want to make any difference between Spaniards and Catalans. “Territorial disputes thwart economic and social progress. We should not confuse the difference in ideals with a common ideal,” Sánchez said on Wednesday.