Spain The 'number 3' of the PSOE, Santos Cerdán, meets with Carles Puigdemont in Brussels to close the investiture

One more step

Spain The 'number 3' of the PSOE, Santos Cerdán, meets with Carles Puigdemont in Brussels to close the investiture

One more step. The evidence that the amnesty is already something closed. Black on white in the absence of the fine print being published. And, therefore, also the investiture of Pedro Sánchez. Saturday was the PSOE leader's embrace of forgiveness for those involved in the process. Barely 48 hours later, the rehabilitation of fugitive Carlos Puigdemont. Visit to Brussels and meeting. He is no longer an envoy or the shield of the second vice president and leader of Sumar, Yolanda Díaz. It is the PSOE that already sits with the former Catalan president. The screens follow one another. The steps intertwine. The amnesty and investiture are a matter of hours. Moncloa wants the week of November 6 to 10 to become a reality, with a possible vote that elects Sánchez on Wednesday the 8th.

The PSOE legitimizes and publicly restores - it was already in the shadows - as an interlocutor to the former president of Catalonia who promoted the disconnection laws, made a unilateral declaration of ephemeral independence and fled. The Secretary of Organization of the PSOE, Santos Cerdán, number three of the party, met this Monday with Puigdemont in the offices that the Junts per Catalunya/Lliures per Europa deputies have in the European Parliament. A legitimization of the politician who has taken refuge in Brussels, as Sánchez already rehabilitated Oriol Junqueras as an interlocutor with a phone call hours before meeting with the parliamentary spokesperson for ERC, Gabriel Rufián.

The meeting was also attended by the general secretary of Junts, Jordi Turull, the president of the PSOE group in the European Parliament, Iratxe García-Pérez, and the head of the socialist delegation in the European Parliament, Javier Moreno. The photo, uncomfortable for the PSOE, took place just a few hours before the historic act of swearing in the Constitution of Princess Leonor took place in Congress.

The snapshot also shows that the two parties are no longer in a position to back down. Some, because they are going to Brussels to seek the 7 votes of a party led by a fugitive from Justice; others because they agree to portray themselves negotiating with the representatives of a State that they do not recognize and against which they attack. A step without return.

The meeting took place at a time in which Puigdemont has received other politicians such as the president of Catalonia, Pere Aragonés. Although it cannot be seen in the photos sent by the PSOE, the room is dominated by a large image in which a girl holds up, cheered on by the rest, one of the ballot boxes that was used to celebrate the illegal 1-O referendum. In September, the European Parliament decided to remove this image from an exhibition installed at its headquarters in Brussels.

Both the PSOE and Junts have sent separate agreed statements, each party its own - there is currently no document with the logo of both - in which they maintain that there has been a "good atmosphere" at the meeting and that they have "found that said negotiations are moving in the right direction." They have agreed to "continue speaking in the coming days."

In recent weeks there have been meetings between the negotiators of the PSOE and those of Junts. In Spain, but also in other places. Always off the radar. Incognito. Traveling by subway to go unnoticed. A lot of caution and caution. Making the appointment with Puigdemont public now anticipates that the pact is now a reality, both for the amnesty and for the investiture.

From Junts they assured that the photo with Puigdemont was not a red line, but it was not seen with bad eyes. In the PSOE, not even Pedro Sánchez ruled out talking to the fugitive from Justice. It was neither confirmed nor denied that there was going to be a meeting, that someone was sent. What the socialist leader did was shield himself so that he would not be the one who had to take the photo. He would meet with the parliamentary groups in Congress. That left Oriol Junqueras, Arnaldo Otegi and Carles Puigdemont out of the equation. The wear and tear of that photo was assumed by his team, the party, specifically, one of the negotiators: Santos Cerdán.

The PSOE did not make a statement but Jaume Asens, one of Sumar's negotiators, did do so on October 11 in an interview on TV3, where he already anticipated this quote: "I think so. I think we will see Santos Cerdán, the general secretary of the PSOE, going to the European Parliament when everything is over, not before."

The Secretary of Organization is one of the negotiators who has held talks with Junts together with Félix Bolaños, Minister of the Presidency. He is also one of the people who speaks with the PNV and, above all, with Bildu. In fact, he accompanied Sánchez in the meetings that were held in Congress with Junts and Bildu. He is a man trusted by Sánchez, who controls the party apparatus. His election is due to this intention of protecting Sánchez and trying to create the image that he is a party thing, not a matter of the Government. Since the party's number two is María Jesús Montero, who is also Minister of Finance, Cerdán was the most senior person in the party that the PSOE could send.

When Díaz met with Puigdemont at the beginning of September, La Moncloa staged a distancing with the second vice president, distancing itself and leaving that meeting in its sphere and that of Sumar. Government sources, however, have been explaining since then that all of Díaz's movements were known in the presidential complex and they acted in a coordinated manner.