No to self-determination

Maragall unhappy with lack of progress on self-determination and political prisoners; proposals made to deal with outstanding statutory issues

Maintain dialogue and establish a calendar to work from for the rest of the year. This is the most concrete result of the meeting of the Bilateral Commission between the Generalitat and the Spanish government yesterday in the Palau after a seven-year hiatus. Also agreed was to work through the committees provided for in the Catalan Statute until all issues are covered by the end of the year, but with regard to the demands of Barcelona to deal with the right to self-determination and the situation of the political prisoners, there was no progress.

“We do not have the same concept of normality,” said Catalan minister Ernest Maragall after the meeting. For Meritxell Batet, normality is centred on the recovery of “respect, loyalty and dialogue” between administrations after seven years of silence as well as stressing a project for Catalonia focussed on transfers, reducing the conflict between administrations, more investments, and “all those policies that improve the lives of Catalans,” she said. Her response to the proposal of a working group to address self-determination in which experts could participate was that this did not fit inside the Constitution. Maragall was “dissatisfied” with the response.

The commission set up mechanisms to deal with appeals to the Constitutional Tribunal on Catalan laws with Batet insisting that content outside the Constitution should be removed. She also asked that Catalonia participate in multilateral forums and conferences such as the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council, something that Barcelona is wary of as it needs to be modified if there is a real commitment to creating a more equitable entity.

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