The fate is cast in favor of a new independence government in Catalonia . Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and Junts want to reissue their alliance of power, this time with the Republicans as their older brother. The coalition was shipwrecked in the previous legislature due to its disagreements, but the battle against what they consider to be their enemy, the State, is stronger than ideological differences.
The agreement this week to invest the candidate of Junts, Laura Borràs as president of the autonomous Parliament, despite being imputed, opens the door to the pact to elevate Pere Aragonès (ERC) as president of the Generalitat.
The independence movement is considered more legitimate because in the Catalan elections in February its majority of deputies increased – it has 74 of the 135 seats in the Parliament – and because it exceeded 50% of the votes counted for the first time – although only 26% of the census , because the abstention was very high.
ERC, Junts and the CUP want to reactivate the independence race, following in the wake of the procés , the period that began in 2012 and ended in October 2017, when then-president Carles Puigdemont – who days later would flee to Belgium – declared unilateral separation Spain and the central government intervened the Generalitat.
The three parties, according to what ERC leader Sergi Sabrià assured at the end of February in Catalunya Ràdio, share the basic strategy to “prepare the final attack and exceed the autonomous limits”.
Borràs, in her inaugural speech as president of the Chamber, summarized the philosophy of the nationalist entente : “The legislature that we are beginning has to mark a turning point in the advance towards the independence of Catalonia because that is how more than the half of the citizens, ”he said.
The very election of Borràs as president is also a declaration of intent: she is being investigated for awarding contracts to hand. If it is finally disqualified, the Bureau of Parliament, with a separatist majority, could open a new front of disobedience to justice.
The full investiture of the President of the Generalitat will be held on March 26. ERC and Junts have two weeks to agree on the distribution of the ministries and organizations as important as the Catalan Audiovisual Media Corporation, the entity that includes TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio. Puigdemont, leader of Junts, warned on Friday in El Punt Avui that it could not be taken for granted that the agreement will take place: “Before talking about charges we have to talk about what we will do.
This is not about distributing councils but about knowing what we will dedicate this 52% of the votes to in the next four years ”, he said. 52% is the percentage of votes counted in the elections that went to pro-independence formations, including PDeCAT, which failed to enter Parliament.
A referendum of self-determination recognized by the State and by the EU, in addition to an amnesty law that exonerates those convicted in the trial of the procés : these are goals assumed by the three parties of Catalan nationalism .
The path differs above all in that Junts is more inclined to maintain the one-sided path. Puigdemont emphasized on Friday one of the points that generate the most friction between Junts and ERC: the refusal of the post-convergents, unlike ERC, to support proposals from the PSOE and Podemos government. For Puigdemont, both formations must act in unison in Congress, something that ERC resists .
Another obstacle for the independence alliance is the pact that they must sign with the CUP. The anti-capitalist formation will have to decide if it enters the Executive or, most likely, if it stays out of it. Aragonès insisted yesterday on the need to negotiate the Government between the three parties “as soon as possible.”
ERC’s will is for the CUP to be in the Generalitat. The selection of the people to occupy the portfolios can also be a setback. Specifically, names of the more right-wing sectors of the Junts, such as Ramon Tremosa, current company director, may not be to the liking of the CUP.
The influence of the radical left party was already noticeable during the two weeks of street vandalism in February, following protests over the imprisonment of singer Pablo Hasél. ERC and Junts not only avoided until the last moment condemning urban violence, they also announced future changes in the riot control of the Mossos d’Esquadra, the autonomous police.
The distribution of executive responsibilities between ERC and Junts will be a field in which discussions will be arduous. The captain of the Junts in the Government, predictably assuming the vice-presidency, will be Elsa Artadi.
The two parties will have to agree on whether Artadi will be the highest economic manager of the Generalitat, just as Aragonès has been when ERC was a minor partner in the outgoing Executive.
The republicans do not resign to maintain the economic responsibility, reason why they contemplate that Artadi is vice-president but with other competitions; specifically, according to sources from ERC to EL PAÍS, the international relations portfolio.
The foreign policy of the Generalitat has been a recurrent cause of controversy due to its propaganda activity in favor of independence. Leaving the Government’s international relations in the hands of the Junts would give even greater influence to the Puigdemont nucleus in Belgium.
There are ministries that are particularly sensitive because they represent a greater strain on the party that occupies them: the Department of Health, which must deal with the pandemic, and the Department of the Interior, responsible for the Catalan police.
The head of Health is Alba Vergès, from ERC, who has been in the eye of the hurricane during the year of health alarm. The last two Interior Councilors have been from Junts and have received constant pressure due to the dilemma between having to support the Mossos d’Esquadra in compliance with the law and the political guidelines of their party, which is in favor of the mobilizations. urban areas to protest and even disobey judicial decisions contrary to their thesis.
The highest salaries in Spain
The Catalan Generalitat has more than 300 senior positions that represent a succulent source of income for the parties in the Government. The last president , Quim Torra, had an annual salary of 153,235 euros gross.
The directors of the Catalan Executive receive emoluments of 115,000 euros. More than 180 of these positions of responsibility of the Generalitat earn more than the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, or his vice-president Pablo Iglesias: the first obtains an annual salary of 84,845 gross euros and the second receives 79,746 euros.
ERC and Junts have on the table a proposal to iron out differences and that can transform the network of senior government officials: the idea is to create in each department a leadership formed by the councilor, who would be from a party, and a second responsible who would be representative of the other partner. EL PAÍS reported on March 8 that this possibility must still be analyzed by the negotiating teams.
This formula, which some analysts have seen as the introduction of a deputy councilor, has already been applied to better agree decision-making in the Catalan Government between 2006 and 2010, that of the tripartite formed by the Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya (PSC), ERC and the ICV ecosocialists.