Wednesday, August 4

Normalize normality: Puig prepares a meeting with Aragonés to reactivate institutional relations

Normalize the normal because it has become weird. For several weeks something has been moving between the Palau de la Generalitat Valenciana and the business associations with their northern neighbors. President Ximo Puig activated the federalist agenda with the arrival of summer, a path to which economic agents have joined, to try to bring Catalonia closer to the discussion and deliberation tables and move away from the institutional blockade.

The pardons to the prisoners of the you process, the management of European funds and the bilateral meetings between the Government of Spain and the Generalitat de Catalunya have served to iron out rough spots in a part of society and Catalan parliamentarianism. For the Valencian president, “a new time is opening that we want to take advantage of” because both autonomies have common interests, such as the Mediterranean Corridor or the reform of the financing system. The Valencian Association of Entrepreneurs (AVE) has organized several meetings with Catalan leaders in order to join forces to claim common infrastructures. Last Friday the association chaired by Vicente Boluda invited the former CiU leader Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida, currently AENA counselor, to deliver the closing speech of its assembly, while this Monday the guest was the former Minister of Health and now a Socialist deputy in the Parliament of Catalonia Salvador Illa to a working lunch with the businessmen.

Shortly before starting lunch, Puig indicated that his team is working with that of his Catalan counterpart, Pere Aragonés, to hold a meeting in the autumn: “In the coming weeks, already in September, I hope we can have a meeting with the president of the Generalitat, understanding that the framework in which we operate is the institutional, statutory framework, respecting the autonomy of each government “. The Valencian leader insists that the Catalan authorities should participate in the “multilateral space” of the Spanish State, in reference to the next conference of presidents to which Aragonés has refused to attend. “It is the way to contribute more, it helps a global approach and the citizenship”, indicated the Valencian president, underlining the previous declarations of the secretary of Organization of the PSC, who criticized the absence of the leader of Esquerra Republicana in the debate body of the autonomies and the central government. “No one has been injured in their political proposals for meeting with all the presidents,” Illa indicated, regarding the presence of the Catalan government in the rest of the meetings.

The Valencian leader believes that “it is not reasonable that the autonomies have no relationship” and recalls that he started this dialogue since his arrival to the presidency of the Generalitat Valenciana in 2015. “We need Catalonia to participate in the debate in the whole of Spain, and we want to create a favorable environment and atmosphere, “he insisted.

According to some voices of Catalan socialism, President Puig’s ideas are viewed sensibly by those who reject the independence path and advocate returning to the framework of coexistence. Illa highlights the idea that Puig conveyed at the Cercle d’Economia in Barcelona on June 17 about advancing in “the Spain of Spains”, the federalist agenda to decentralize the State, applying co-governance mechanisms such as those activated during the pandemic . For the former minister, it is key to “strengthen relations between Catalonia and the Valencian Community”. For the moment, the Valencian leader will hold another summit next year with his Balearic counterpart, Francina Armengol, to continue the meeting in Palma at the beginning of July and is preparing another summit with the Andalusian president, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, to agree on positions of facing the reform of the autonomous financing system, the warship that runs aground year after year.

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