Quim Torra, President of the Generalitat, confirmed that he has exchanged messages with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to set up a meeting "as soon as possible". "It's urgent that we sit down at a table, it's urgent that we negotiate", said Torra after visiting Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Raül Romeva, and Joaquim Forn in Estremera prison.
In a statement to the media outside the penitentiary, Torra noted that it is "important" to know if they will have to deal with the PSOE that "decriminalized the calling of referendums" or the PSOE that "voted for Article 155” [thus imposing direct rule on Catalonia]. "Is this the Pedro Sánchez who argued for changing the crime of rebellion in the Spanish Criminal Code, or is he a different one?", asked the President of the Generalitat, who introduced the dialectic argument of whether the Spanish government wants to "seeks justice or retribution".
Torra also noted that he has been receiving authorizations that will allow the new ministers to exchange portfolios with the former members of the Catalan government within the prison itself. He thanked Spain’s Interior Minister for making this possible, and said that there haven't been any problems other than red tape. The Catalan leader insisted, however, that his ultimate goal is to reinstate the "legitimate" president and ministers, and he "especially" thanked Turull and Rull for stepping aside to facilitate the configuration of the new government.
This was Torra's second visit to the prisoners as President of the Generalitat —his first took place the day after he was sworn in— and it coincides with the activation of the new government in Catalonia. The meeting also coincides with the lifting of direct rule instituted by the application of Article 155 of the Constitution, and after Pedro Sánchez, the new Spanish PM, took office following his successful vote of no-confidence against Mariano Rajoy —thanks to the votes of Catalonia’s pro-independence groups, among others.