Oriol Junqueras (in the center) this Wednesday.EUROPA PRESS
The trials for the investiture of Pedro Sánchez as President of the Government put all the microphones in front of the Catalan independence parties and, in such a scenario, the guidelines are to not waste the opportunity to raise your voice. On the one hand, Esquerra seeks to find its place on the negotiating board. At the moment, his attempt to counteract the clamp between a certain fait accompli speech by the Socialists regarding republican support and Junts’ constant criticism of the few results of negotiations in the past is fruitless. Even worse: they begin to get tangled in the tangle of the story, vacillating over whether it would be enough (or not) for them to have just a commitment to approve the amnesty to vote for the investiture. Junts, for its part, has reactivated the argument about the tax treatment that Catalonia receives. The party concludes, within a parliamentary commission on the “historical debt” of the State with the Catalans, that the figure amounts to 450,000 million euros.
In the ranks of ERC they continue to insist on taking the amnesty for granted although their first swords send contradictory messages about the state of their approval to say yes to the investiture of the current head of the Government. The pact of the Congressional Board, Junqueras said this Wednesday, “includes ending the repression through all necessary legal means, and it is evident that the amnesty is the most effective.” The Republican thus resorted to a syllogism to support the supposed existence of the pact with the socialists on forgiveness, the written text of which is not known.
Junqueras thus insisted on the argument that the Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta and other socialist swords had already forcefully denied last Tuesday, after a first moment of silence. Yesterday, however, it was Sánchez himself who gave wings to the possibility that, after the pardons and the reform of the Penal Code, pardons will come. “I will be consistent with the policy of normalization and stabilization of the political situation in Catalonia. And I am saying a lot,” he said in a speech from New York, the first press conference he has offered in a month.
But the Republican leader went further: “Since the PSOE has already committed to this, we can now take this amnesty for granted and on it we can continue working to achieve all democratic rights, including self-determination,” he said in an appearance on the occasion of the anniversary of the police search of the headquarters of the Department of Economy, in 2017.
Defenders of the amnesty from the first moment, the Republicans now see how it is Junts who seems to capitalize on the achievement that the PSOE is now open to its approval after years of closed refusals. “Amnesty is our priority to end judicial persecution. The issue does not end with the exiles or the political prisoners, but must be extended to the rest of the 3,000 people who suffer judicial cases,” Junqueras himself wrote in an article in Ara, in 2021, just before that he be granted pardon.
Puigdemont, in his conference in Brussels two weeks ago, set the approval of the amnesty as a condition to “begin” to negotiate the investiture. This is a very tight time frame that both the socialists and Sumar see as unrealistic. Junts does not let up but in ERC polyphony reigns. Representative Teresa Jordà assured on the 13th that “a firm, signed commitment, with a schedule and with the firm political will that the amnesty will be carried out” would be enough for them to vote for the investiture. Last Monday, the party spokesperson, Raquel Sans, avoided clarifying whether it was a precondition or not, after the party’s deputy secretary, Marta Vilalta, qualified Jordà by saying that her party “did not give up” on having it approved before the investiture granted forgiveness to those accused of the process but the commitment to put it into motion was not “enough” either.
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For its part, Junts per Catalunya has estimated the “historic debt of the State with Catalonia” at 450,000 million euros, approximately a third of Spanish GDP. The calculation is the result of assessing “the non-compliance and policies carried out by the Spanish State” during the last decades in relation to Catalonia, the independence party breaks down in the conclusions it has presented to the Study Commission on the Historical Debt of the State with Catalonia in the Parliament. In the midst of negotiations for the investiture of Pedro Sánchez, Junts has registered a report to highlight the economic contribution that Catalonia makes to the State, without any return, although they have stressed that they do not link it to the negotiation of the investiture. The training highlights that it has calculated the figure taking into account 50,900 million in infrastructure deficit, 375,000 million in social items and 30,000 million in pensions in the last 40 years “of underfinancing.” In summary, the differential between the taxes paid by Catalan taxpayers and the investment and resource transfers made by the State to Catalonia.
The concept “historical debt,” the Junts document details, responds to “everything that can be considered execution debt, specifically obligations recognized by the State and not executed.” The report highlights that the “chronic fiscal deficit” grips Catalonia’s accounts and “seriously” affects the level of well-being of its citizens. The conclusions were to be put to a vote this Tuesday in Parliament, at the meeting of the Commission on Historical Debt. The call was canceled at the last minute to give more time to evaluate the proposals of the different parties, but Puigdemont’s party still chose to show theirs.
Miquel Iceta and also the first secretary of the PSC, Salvador Illa, were in charge this Wednesday of insisting on the socialists’ refusal of alleged agreements that could be “outside the law”, although their words were later surpassed by the broader approach. by Sánchez. The head of Culture accepted in a media interview that he has been talking to different groups for months to “put an end to the judicialization of a conflict that has political roots” but has categorically denied that the possibility of an amnesty has been put in writing. “That paper says what he says and doesn’t say what he doesn’t say,” he said.
Illa, for his part, also refuted the Republicans’ claims about the amnesty. She explained it in a statement on the program Cafè d’idees, on TVE in Catalonia. “When we make an agreement we explain it. I think that explains everything.” The PSC leader stressed that his party opts for discretion and that his playing field is the constitutional framework. “Have we changed our view on the amnesty?” he asked himself. “At the moment we have not changed our point of view. We are exploring based on some results to see what can be done. As always with generosity and trying not to be naive,” he said. Illa also stated that he rules out going to Brussels to speak with Puigdemont.
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