Wednesday, July 6

The squaring of the circle: the quadripartite of Aragon arrives ‘alive’ to the equator of the legislature

Almost two years have passed since its birth and the first government coalition in Aragon made up of four parties with radically different ideologies survives without major scratches. And he has not had it easy until he reached the middle of the legislature. It has faced the challenges of operating an unprecedented alliance formed by declared enemies and now reconverted into government partners, to which two events have been added that nobody counted on even in their worst nightmares: the COVID-pandemic. 19 and the cancer that they have suffered in recent months and from which President Javier Lambán, his Vice President Arturo Aliaga and the Minister of Finance, Carlos Pérez Anadón are recovering.

On the contrary, in this time PSOE, PAR, IU and CHA have agreed with the rest of the parties, except Vox, and the economic and social agents on the strategy to rebuild what was destroyed by the pandemic. And they have also managed to approve the budgets for the first two years and have even managed to get Ciudadanos to vote in favor of the 2021 accounts, which in this way have been the most supported in the history of Aragon.

Once the first impression of sharing the table of the Governing Council with political formations that are ideologically like oil and water is overcome, the key to the success of their survival as coalitions has a lot to do with the fact that each one has assumed that it is exclusively in charge of your department without intruding on the partner’s. That is, a sort of four governments in one coordinated by Javier Lambán. “Each one in his own plot and without stepping on calluses,” says a member of one of the parties. Nacho Escartín, from Podemos, specifies more: “We have dedicated ourselves to management, there has been no noise, children’s issues and fights”.

“It is an example of innovation in politics and putting the interests of Aragon before those of each party,” says Jesús Guerrero, from the PAR.

The second pillar on which this coalition is based, which has shown surprising internal unity, is “permanent dialogue” within the Government and in Parliament. The parliamentary spokespersons of the four parties hold periodic meetings to agree on the different issues and “anticipate possible conflicts.” Joaquín Palacín, president of CHA, reaffirms that the key is constant fluid dialogue between partners. “It will be the legislature of the pact and dialogue,” he assures, convinced that “citizens want tranquility at a time as delicate as this one.” And he cites the example of the two budgets approved so far. “We make Aragonese politics against national politics,” he concludes. For the socialist Darío Villagrasa, “Lambán’s leadership has been key.” “They have been two hectic years in which the government has made decisions and fulfilled its commitments.”

A pact with 132 very open measures

The starting point of the Pignatelli quadripartite was the governance and investiture agreement that the four political formations signed to the surprise of many at the beginning of the legislature. It includes 132 government action measures, some of which are so vague, so open in the way they are drafted, that the differences that each party maintains on the thorniest issues, such as the construction of large reservoirs and support, are accommodated. to concerted education, two of the PAR flags that CHA and Podemos have always opposed. The same happens with the expansion works of the Cerler ski slopes by Castanesa, a project that, by chance of fate, has been forced to administratively unblock the councilor Vertebración del Territorio and leader of CHA, José Luis Soro. Nobody has the feeling of having given in their demands, at least in public. This is what the Minister of the Presidency, Mayte Pérez, describes as “agreed and assumed discrepancies in the governance agreement.”

His main maxim: four do not fight if nobody wants. And if discrepancies arise, Lambán is responsible for remembering, as happened with the Mularroya reservoir conflict, that on hydraulic issues PAR and PSOE are the majority in the Governing Council and, therefore, the official position of the Executive is of resounding support for this reservoir that has been questioned by a judgment of the National Court despite the fact that the works are nearing completion. The expansion of Cerler by Castanesa, the construction of the Mularroya reservoir, the protection of the wolf or the wind farms are controversial issues that have turned the headquarters of the Department of Agriculture into a rue del barnacle in which agriculture and the environment, socialists and Podemos coexist badly.

Lambán does not want internal fires

Lambán does not seem willing to open the box of thunder now with a government crisis. It puts political stability before any outbreak of internal fire. That is his main priority, convinced that the existing social peace, which he contrasts with the “political morass” in which Spain is plunged, as he stated in the 23-A speech, has made Aragon an attractive community capable of attracting large investment projects, such as landing of Amazon in Plaza, El Burgo de Ebro, Villanueva de Gállego and Huesca, the new plant in Zaragoza of the North American multinational of sanitary material Becton Dickinson and the future logistics platform of Tamarite de Litera.

The Aragonese president has reiterated in his speeches at public events and in the Courts that stability is a priority to attract investment, as he has also ensured that the fight against the pandemic has contributed to strengthening the internal ties of the coalition. The pandemic has conditioned all the efforts of the Executive to the point that it was forced to redo the 2020 budget when it was already approved and in execution, and it has also notably reduced its legislative capacity. Only a handful of laws have seen the light of day in two years, which is in contrast to the avalanche of decree laws approved to face the true protagonist of the first part of the legislature: COVID-19.