Spain’s central government interpreted the speech given by President Quim Torra yesterday as being addressed only to the part of the Catalan population which already supports the independentist theses and therefore, ignoring the interests of those other Catalans who, represent “at least” half of the country.
As far as the Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is concerned, the speech was not so much a threat to the State but rather an expression of “absolute disinterest” for the society Torra represents, accentuating the already evident “division” he believes exists in Catalonia. Sánchez demanded of Torra “more responsibility and less posturing.” While reiterating that he had no wish to enter into fruitless arguments over a referendum for independence, he reaffirmed his intention to work with the Generalitat to propose a new Statute and while that was being discussed, to give priority to solving urgent issues such as financing, pending infrastructures and laws that had been appealed by the PP.
Sánchez also repeated , a number of the issues he had spoken of in his recent visit to South America, among them the urgent need for dialogue between Catalans, both “nationalists and non-nationalists” to foster coexistence while taking the opportunity to remind Torra that this is difficult while the Catalan parliament remains closed.
The Spanish leader was responding to President Torra from Enköping, Sweden, alongside the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, and during a press conference took the opportunity to warn him that he could disagree with judicial sentences, but that they must be respected.