Madrid negotiates with Catalan separatists in Switzerland outside

Representatives of Spain’s ruling Social Democratic Party began secret talks in Geneva on Saturday with representatives of the Catalan separatist Junts party. Both sides hope to find a solution to the long-standing conflict between Madrid and Barcelona.

PSOE negotiator Santos Cerdán said before his return to Madrid that the first talks had gone well. Cerdan has said nothing about the content of the talks, and has also remained silent about the presence or absence of Junts leader Carles Puigdemont. Junts reported that the conversation took place in a “friendly business atmosphere.”

Negotiators from both sides were already seen arriving in Geneva on Friday. The talks have not been officially announced.

Amnesty scheme

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez agreed to hold negotiations to gain Juntes’ support for his next term in a vote two weeks ago. Sánchez promised the Junts and the ERC, a second separatist party, amnesty in exchange for his re-election. This amnesty scheme still needs parliamentary approval, which could take months.

Gontz insisted that negotiations with the PSOE should be supervised by a neutral organization that verifies potential outcomes and monitors their implementation. It has not been officially announced who will assume this role, but according to Spanish public radio RTVE, the Swiss Henri Dunant Center for Humanitarian Dialogue has assumed this role. Salvadoran diplomat Francisco Galindo Velez acts as mediator.

The talks cannot continue in Spain because Puigdemont, who has been living in exile in our country since 2017, risks being arrested there.

Denton Watson

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