TALKS between the Spanish and Catalan governments may restart this month for the first time since the ‘Catalangate’ phone-hacking scandal.

Speaking to the Spanish newspaper El Pais on Sunday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez indicated that he would like to meet with representatives of the Catalan Government to continue negotiations over the issue of Catalonia’s self-determination.

Sánchez previously met with Catalan President Pere Aragonès in September 2021 in an effort to ease tensions between the two administrations, with Sánchez stressing the need for dialogue and “the need to open a new chapter.”

However, representatives of the Catalan Government’s junior coalition partner Junts sat out the last meeting due to disagreements with the ruling Republican left of Catalonia party, while the influential pro-independence grassroots organisation condemned the talks for potentially derailing the cause of independence.

Due to Catalangate, in which it was revealed that over 80 Catalan politicians and civil society figures were infected with spyware between 2017 and 2020, relations between the Spanish and Catalan governments collapsed and subsequent negotiations did not transpire.

Speaking last week, Sánchez said that relations between the administrations had improved, and that his government’s “progressive coalition” aimed to "safeguard cohesion and coexistence in Catalonia and Spain through dialogue," emphasising how much the political situation had moved on from 2017, when the outlawed Catalan independence referendum faced violent suppression by Spanish authorities.

Last year, Sánchez pardoned nine figures in the Catalan independence movement who had been sentenced for up to 13 years in prison for sedition, due to their role in the 2017 referendum.

According to the Catalan News Agency, sources within the Catalan Government have stressed that a meeting between Sánchez and Aragonès to address Catalangate was still pending, and that such a meeting would be a necessary precondition to resuming any talks on independence.