The last-minute order of Junts with their names for the dialogue table has shown that the partners of the Government not only have contradictory proposals in the economic sphere, as has been demonstrated with the expansion of the El Prat airport, but that they are as much or more incompatible when it comes to approaching the negotiation to explore a solution to the political conflict.
ERC and Junts interpret in a different way the pact they signed to agree on the formation of the Government and in which it was stated that their representation at the table would be chosen by consensus and would be appointed by the Executive. The Republicans appeal for loyalty and a verbal agreement between Pere Aragonès and Jordi Sànchez that Junts denies. The newspaper library gives arguments to both because just as ERC speculated with the presence of Oriol Junqueras at the table, Junts, through Jordi Sánchez, affirmed this summer in an interview that the composition of the table would be “mostly” government representatives.
In the short term, the authority of Aragonès is strengthened, whose purpose is to show that his commitment to dialogue is not a pose and that he is not willing to let Junts mark his step. Pedro Sánchez saves a photo, even if only as a greeting, with two of the pardoned prisoners, and can be magnanimous with the independentistas while they continue with their throwing of daggers. And the Junts maneuver makes the toughest and most angry sectors happy with ERC, but it takes them away from the alleged institutional framework that they were looking for with agreements such as that of the millionaire investment for El Prat.
Aragonès, a president without Govern
The CUP gave Pere Aragonès a two-year margin to prove that the talks with the central government had borne some fruit. For now, the one who has already shaken the first meeting has not been the anti-capitalists, who defend that the table is born dead, but that the fire has been caused by Junts. Since they took office, the president and his team have repeated that this legislature would be different from that of Quim Torra, that this time the coalition would be more stable and that the relationship between the partners had improved. These last two weeks it has been well proven that this is not the case, although Aragonès’ commitment continues to be to demonstrate that he is a current president and his appearance this Tuesday to announce that he did not accept the names of the Junts should be interpreted in this will not to appear as a puppet. His collaborators affirm that this Monday has been the day they have seen him the most angry since he was president. But in coalition governments, the presidential authority letter only works if it is not abused.
The Republican stood before his partners and recalled that when there is no agreement, the last word is for the president of the Generalitat. This time he has had it, although the fragility of the pact that Junts and ERC signed to form the Government is confirmed in the response that the Puigdemont party has given him by not giving in and keeping the names that Aragonès has rejected.
ERC presented itself to the elections as the party that would once again seat the Executive of Pedro Sánchez at a table. The toughest sectors of the independence movement question this path, as the president of the ANC, Elisenda Paluzié, recalled at the Diada demonstration when she urged Aragonès to “achieve independence.” As if just saying it was enough. The president and Junqueras had to listen to some whistles and shouts of traitors, nothing that they do not read daily in messages that are directed to them on the networks.
Junts lose (for now)
The general secretary of Junts, Jordi Sànchez, spoke with Aragonès on Tuesday morning to give him the names that soon after were made known to the media. ERC did not agree its members with the Junts, which assures that it found out from the press about those elected by the Republicans and considers that its commitment to the president did not go beyond informing him. The argument for choosing three people who are not in the Government (only Puigneró sits in the Executive Council) is that for a political conflict, a delegation “of the highest political level” must be chosen. They deny that they have acted with little loyalty and assure that one thing is that they have no hope at the table and another is that they do not want to attend.
Beyond whether there was a verbal agreement that some wielded and others denied, Junts argues that at the last meeting of the table, in February 2020, only half were councilors. Among those who were not part of the Government were the Republicans Marta Vilalta and the former vice-presidential secretary, Josep Maria Jové. They also remember that a few months ago Vilalta herself speculated with the possibility that Junqueras was at the meeting this Wednesday, a possibility that already then immediately cooled from the surroundings of Aragonès and that was rejected by Pedro Sánchez.
Puigdemont’s party seeks to recover the image of institutionality that it lost in the Torra stage and two examples are the pact that Puigneró closed with the Minister of Transport and that was applauded by the business sectors or the disposition of the Minister of Economy, Jaume Giró, to participate in some regional forums. Reconciling that bet with that of being left out of the dialogue table is not easy at all. The negotiation, now only between PSOE and ERC, has more options to run aground than to prosper since the Republicans are not willing to give up a self-determination referendum that Sánchez rejects outright. If the table fails, Junts will be able to sing the ‘I already said so’, even though he has not presented or defended an alternative proposal beyond speeches and tweets.
Sánchez can breathe easy
The Prime Minister warned this Tuesday in the Senate that what has not been resolved in ten years will not be resolved in two. A part of the independence movement (not all) has also understood that the rush can work against it. Sánchez, an expert in maneuvers that confuse their own and opponents, has given ERC the oxygen balloon that ERC needed and also the Republicans have separated the negotiation of the budgets in Congress from the fight for the airport or differences at the table negotiation. The staging of the meeting this Wednesday is measured to avoid the discomfort for Sánchez as much as possible, beyond the fact that his decision to move to Barcelona is already seen by the right and a part of the opinion published as a concession to secessionism.
Meanwhile, Salvador Illa can go stroking the cat while waiting for the disagreements between Junts and ERC to end up being insurmountable. It will not be today or tomorrow since, like any government, they will try to hold out as long as they can, although it should not be ruled out that ERC tries to survive alone. In any case, the fights in the independence bloc play in favor of the leader of the PSC. Illa has already proposed to negotiate the next government budgets if the CUP makes it very difficult for Minister Giró. The first option for both Junts and ERC is still to agree with the cupairs, but the offer has already been formulated.