The president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, together with the vice president Jordi Puigneró and the Minister of the Presidency, Laura Vilagrà, upon entering the weekly meeting of the Government on Tuesday.Marta Pérez (EFE)
The Catalan Executive, made up of ERC and Junts, held its first meeting this Tuesday after the summer break in the midst of one of the most important crises it has had since it began its journey, in May of last year. The leadership of the party led by Laura Borràs had announced last Monday that it is giving President Pere Aragonès three weeks to “redirect” his plan to put Catalonia’s independence on track or, otherwise, it will submit to its bases the continuity in the Executive. The Republican, as explained by the Government spokeswoman, Patrícia Plaja, has limited himself to inviting his advisers to transmit their specific proposals to advance in this area and ask for stability in the Government’s action. The ERC sector thus tries to convey the image of normality, although it is fully aware that curves are coming not only within the coalition but also due to the economic context. Hence, the main slogan is that approving the accounts for next year is the highest priority.
The Government had tried from the beginning to abstract from the noise caused by the struggle between the parties that make it up, especially over the independence issue. Junts is completely against how the dialogue table with the central government is being approached (in fact it does not participate, since Aragonès did not accept that the formation proposed people who are not directors to be part of the Catalan delegation) and the pactist attitude of ERC in Congress, who believe that it is done in exchange for nothing or simple concessions of an autonomous nature. Until now the differences had been able to be surfed but the decision of the Borràs leadership to show the red button of a possible fall of the Executive tense the situation to the extreme.
According to Plaja, the president “will always be willing to listen to concrete proposals from around the world, especially in the field of resolving the conflict with the State.” Aragonès had already advanced in an interview with the Catalan News Agency, a few weeks ago, the will to present in the General Policy Debate of the Parliament (which coincides with the limit given by Junts) an “inclusive” proposal to advance towards the referendum agreed with the state. The spokeswoman has assured that the Republican has explained that it is possible to make “self-criticism and recognize that there is room for improvement.” And she has also recalled that there are other “coordination” spaces to be able to deal with these issues, and thus not put them under the constant spotlight on the Government.
Junts’ decision to press for a change in attitude derives from an internal audit that shows significant progress in the implementation of the sectoral measures agreed upon by the partners before the investiture of Aragonès, but also reveals shortcomings in the national axis. Plaja has not wanted to go into assessing the terms of the Borràs accountability exercise and has insisted that, although there may be different accents, the objective of making Catalonia an independent state is “shared and a priority” for both partners . Last May, the Catalan Executive itself presented its balance sheet for the first year of its mandate and described the progress in achieving the goal of resolving the political conflict through negotiation at the dialogue table as 40%.
Sources from the environment of the vice-presidency of the Generalitat, in the hands of Jordi Puigneró (Junts), assure that during the meeting the number two of the Executive did criticize the role of the Esquerra parliamentary group in Madrid and has asked for explanations, since last week abstained in the validation of the decree law on forest fires. The articles have sensitive points that openly invade regional powers, for example in firefighters or in the role of the Servei Meterològic de Catalunya, and in Junts they see it as aberrant that despite this they did not vote against it. The PNV, which also sees a jurisdictional conflict, also abstained. Those who are the two main partners of Pedro Sánchez have been promised that, in future regulations, the failures will be corrected. Junts doesn’t see enough of it. “Not only is it not that we do not advance to independence, but that we lose sovereignty,” the vice president criticized.
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