Saturday, April 1

Government and Generalitat agree to hold a new Bilateral meeting on February 18

The central government and the Generalitat de Catalunya already have a new date to meet the Bilateral Commission, the forum contemplated in the Statute where both administrations settle differences in economic, competence, legislative and transfer matters. The new appointment will be next February 18, after it has been postponed several times.

This was announced this Tuesday by the Government spokeswoman, Patrícia Plaja, at the press conference after the Consell Executiu. Plaja has admitted that for the moment the agenda has not been closed, despite the fact that it was one of the conditions of the Government to make the date public. The objective of the Catalan side, she has assured, is that the meeting “go well and the negotiations are profitable”.

One of the most prominent items on the agenda of both governments is the issue of the transfer of Rodalies, the Cercanías de Catalunya trains managed by Renfe. In the last bilateral meeting, held in August, both executives advanced on the need for the State to pay both the debt and the operating deficit. That is why they agreed to convene working groups that could negotiate these amounts and the form of payment.

If these amounts, both debt and resources necessary for the ordinary operation of the Rodalies service, were to agree and, in addition, payment were agreed, this would be one of the most important commitments between Madrid and Barcelona in many years. However, sources from the Government consider that the agreement may not be so imminent and, in addition, they recall that this would only mean the beginning of the transfer of Rodalies, but not its culmination.

The matter in which there could be a definitive agreement on the transfer of university scholarships, which have been a claim by the Generalitat for more than a decade. In the last appointment the transfer was ready and in this both parties trust that it will finally become effective.

In the last Bilateral Commission, held in August, both governments agreed to hold a new meeting in January. However, this meeting will only be held once the elections in Castilla y León have passed on February 13, which has been one of the reasons given for postponing it. Nor is a new meeting of the dialogue and negotiation table on the table at the moment, the space where issues of “political conflict” are discussed, which despite the fact that it was agreed to meet “at the beginning of the year” has also been postponed Until now.