The Catalan pro-independence parties refine their strategy in the face of the imminent negotiating frenzy that is looming in the Congress of Deputies. In Junts per Catalunya and ERC the purpose is to succeed in squeezing the electoral capital left to them on July 23 and, for now, they are trying to stage a unit of action that puts the intermediaries of the PSOE and Sumar in trouble. The deputy general secretary and ERC spokesperson, Marta Vilalta, has called on JxCat to “park the reproaches” among independentistas and seek “points of agreement.” Vilalta refers to the possibility of conditioning an eventual investiture of Pedro Sánchez, but she also opens the door to resume collaboration within the framework of the Parliament of Catalonia. For her part, Laura Borràs, president of Junts, has stated that the formation “gives value to the word negotiation” and that she renounces “the party perspective”.
Two voices together gain more power, despite the risk of going out of tune. Esquerra intends to set up a common front with Junts to address the negotiation for the investiture of Pedro Sánchez. “With internal reproaches, with criticisms against the fellow travelers with whom we share a goal, we will not achieve it,” stressed Marta Vilalta. “If we try to build trust and try to reach an agreement, we will be much stronger and we will be able to achieve the goals we share with more strength.” The ERC spokeswoman sends a conciliatory message to JxCat, to tone down the tension between the two main pro-independence formations, especially since the crisis that led Junts to leave the Government of Pere Aragonès in October.
“Many people wonder what we will do. But I think the question must be another. The question is what Pedro Sánchez will do ”, Laura Borràs has maintained in a letter published on her social networks. Borràs assures that from Junts they have no interest in negotiating the investiture of a Spanish president, but that they have “every interest in negotiating the resolution of the conflict that Spain maintains with Catalonia.” And that, she has said, implies parking partisan urgencies. The former president of Parliament considers that the current opportunity forces us “not to think about an investiture or elections”, and she alludes to the need to raise the debate for “a definitive solution”.
After the results of the general elections on July 23 granted the key to the investiture to the 14 Catalan pro-independence deputies in Congress —seven from ERC and seven from JxCat—, both parties have initiated discreet contacts to explore the possibility of forming a common negotiating front. To make this common front a reality, according to Vilalta, it is necessary for both formations to put aside their quarrels and work together for the common goal of independence.
a common adversary
The current context, in his opinion, “forces” ERC and JxCat to “join efforts” and use the force that the polls have given them “to defend Catalonia”: “We have a common adversary, which is the State that represses us” , he emphasized.
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However, the blows that have been launched by both political rivals have left deep marks. In ERC, Borràs did not like a recent tweet, in which he attacked the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, whom he accused of being “disconnected from the reality of the independence movement”, by continuing to defend his proposal for a “clarity agreement” to set the rules of a referendum, and warned: “We will talk about the votes of JxCat and those of Junts.”
“We regret that the main opinions of JxCat are always going to attack ERC,” reproaches Vilalta. This type of bickering between pro-independence supporters, adds the ERC spokeswoman, “should make the PSOE and the Spanish state very happy.”
For Vilalta, “destructive criticism is useless.” “What is useful”, he clarified, “is to agree, to rebuild our trust, both in the framework of the negotiation for a Spanish investiture and in the framework of the Catalan legislature, in the framework of Parliament”, where JxCat now exercises the opposition role after his departure from the Government, a decision that, in his opinion, “was not understood”.
“It is absolutely necessary, within the framework of the Catalan institutions, to find points of agreement, which there are and many,” insisted the Republican leader, who nevertheless has avoided ruling on whether Junts will end up voting for Sánchez’s investiture: “For JxCat speak JxCat and its leaders”.
Vilalta has celebrated, yes, that “now there are voices from JxCat that agree to enter into a negotiation for a future investiture” and, specifically, he has highlighted that the General Secretary of Junts, Jordi Turull, has spoken of ” historic opportunity.” “Well, let’s take advantage of it to go together, to put these 14 pro-independence votes, which are necessary for the governability of the Spanish State, at the service of the defense of Catalonia”, he added.
ERC has already announced that it will put amnesty and self-determination on the negotiating table, in addition to other issues that affect the “day to day” of citizens. But these negotiations, in his opinion, “can only” culminate successfully if ERC and JxCat go “at one”, and for this reason both parties will intensify their contacts in the coming weeks to seek “with the utmost discretion” a common denominator .
challenge to sanchez
The president of Junts, Laura Borràs, has urged the Prime Minister and PSOE candidate for the investiture, Pedro Sánchez, to “say if he is willing to talk about self-determination and amnesty.” “It would be ideal for Pedro Sánchez to also decide to move forward and to do so out of democratic convictions, although he is probably only concerned about arithmetic urgency. But the fact is that he has to move ”, added the president of Junts.
She has also regretted that “the authoritarian response of the State” on 1-O has led, according to her, to the current situation. And she has complained that Catalonia continues to be an autonomous community of a State ―literally― hostile to its language, its culture, and unfair to the management of the resources it generates.
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