THOUSANDS of people took Christmas to Catalonia’s political prisoners as they gathered outside the jails where they are being held and sang carols.

Hundreds of vehicles descended on the Sant Joan de Vilatorrada penitentiary on Christmas evening, where Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Cuixart, Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Raül Romeva and Joaquim Forn are all detained.

Crowds also gathered at Puig de les Basses prison, in Figueres, where Dolors Bassa is jailed and at Mas d’En, in Catllar, where former speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, is incarcerated.

Christmas was the 175th evening that crowds had gathered outside Lledoners and the first occasions where the prisoners managed to communicate their thanks.

Relatives of Sanchez and Turull conveyed their thanks to the crowd – which had lit up the demonstration with their mobile phones – while Turull gave his through his sister’s mobile, via megaphone.

As well as the carols, a radio programme Nadal in jail (Christmas in jail), was broadcast to the prisoners on local radio stations.

The programme was made by a group of radio professionals and featured contributions from 60 personalities in the fields of culture, science, religion and sport, including Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, as well as a group of the prisoners’ families and friends.

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Meanwhile, the Spanish government has said it will respond to 21 points in a “proposal for a democratic agreement” the Catalan President Quin Torra raised at a meeting last week with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez – the first time his office has confirmed their existence.

Torra revealed details of the proposals on Christmas Day, and highlighted the three most important: the disenfranchisement of Spain and the isolation of fascism and ultra-right; democratic regeneration and political ethics.

However, secretary of Sanchez’s Socialist Party (PSOE), Iratxe García, defended the government’s work to normalise the Catalan situation and the relationship between the two executives.

She said: “There has been a meeting between the government of Spain and that of an autonomous community that aims to normalise the situation of coexistence and cooperation between the different administrations.”

President of the People’s Party (PP), Pablo Casado, took to Twitter to criticise Sanchez for negotiations held “behind the backs of citizens”.

He said: “The Spaniards have a right to know what Sanchez does with his partner Torra. No concealment, no mediation … Spain is a rule of law, a consolidated democracy where the rules are clear and the law is fulfilled.”