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This was the ' sprint ' negotiation of article 155

All the details of the deployment were closed in just over 10 days and the weight of the negotiation was taken by two people

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This was the ' sprint ' negotiation of article 155

The negotiation of article 155 between Government and PSOE was a sprint. Apart from conversations between president, Mariano Rajoy, and Pedro Sánchez, first meeting where 155 began to take shape was in week of October 2. The referendum on Day 1 was not going to be held, but it ended up happening. The Generalitat was refore going to continue with its roadmap. During that week re was at least one meeting of five people, according to socialist sources: The professor of Constitutional law and member of executive of PSOE Carmen Calvo, socialist deputies Meritxell Batet and José Enrique Serrano, who was also chief of Cabinet of Presidents Felipe González and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and, by PP, Secretary of State of relations with Cortes, Jose Luis Ayllón, and adviser of party Pierre Arriola.

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The agitation of that beginning of conversations makes same protagonists remember a number of different meetings, but everything points to that y were not more than two. The first meeting was intended to "consider scenarios and legal anchors for a response" to referendum, according to one of sources, or to "see where we were and reflect on tremendous situation without specifying anything", according to anor. Three sources agree that negotiations on details of 155 had not begun. At most, at end of that week deliberations were decanted for dismissing citizen Security law, which would not allow everything that would be necessary. It also dispensed from article 116 of Constitution, state of emergency. The application of that article would imply suspension of basic rights. "It tantearon all grounds," says one of sources. In end, article 155 was imposed: it was vague, constitutional and allowed to negotiate its limits.

On 10 October, President Carles Puigdemont made his speech in Parlament. That night Mariano Rajoy and Pedro Sánchez met. During meeting, Sanchez called PSC's first secretary, Miquel Iceta, to tell him about requirement for Puigdemont. It became clear that government's legal request should include requirement for clarification as to wher or not independence had been declared.

The government and main opposition party could not sit and wait for Generalitat's response. If requirement went wrong, development of 155 should be prepared. From re, Carmen Calvo and José Luis Ayllón were left alone in command of negotiations. No consulted source knows for sure reason for reduction of equipment, but agility and discretion are two most cited motives. There were only 10 days left to draw up measures that would include 155 and deliberations could not be extended. It started n grueling sprint of meetings, calls, emails between two negotiators, dotted by forced internal consultations with ir leaders. At one of last meetings was also Vice-President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría.

One of first demands was to define end: How would I end application of 155? The PSOE was clear that re was only one way: elections and sooner better. The PP had some doubt: execution of 155 depends only on government, as it happened on October 1, and having more time would give more options. "The 155 will be a million times more complicated than October 1," says a source of party.

It was all about talking. The PSOE called for example government that re was no new administration to replace president and consellers and that it would be responsible for applying 155 in Catalonia: "We did not feel well a government in parallel or substitute." The most efficient and lowest profile was that powers were assumed by ministers, says a source of Ferraz.

The margin was also calculated for Puigdemont to be able to convene elections: he has only until Tuesday. If I did it between Wednesday and Friday, polls would fall on Christmas Eve. After plenary of Senate of Friday, if everything follows script envisaged, it can only be government who dissolves Parlament and convenes elections. Still, president of Generalitat has room until Friday to try to stop deployment of 155: For this I should say in Senate that has not declared independence of Catalonia. "From re we would see what to do," says Fuentes de Ferraz. If Puigdemont does not avoid it, government will not have had much more time to realize every step of execution of 155. And that is no longer negotiated with any party: It depends only on executive.


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