Roger Mateos |
Barcelona (EFE) Pedro Sanchez.
These are the five political keys of the new context:
1. From the “majority of 52%” to the split between independentistas
The results of the elections on February 14, 2021 were historic for the independence movement: although the party with the most votes was the PSC, the independence candidacies added 52% of the votes and the ERC, JxCat and the CUP achieved 74 of the 135 seats in Parliament. .
Despite the tension in their relations, ERC and JxCat ended up agreeing to set up a new coalition government, this time chaired by Pere Aragonès, who also won the votes of the CUP to be sworn in, although disagreements between members of the legislature They surfaced from day one.
The CUP already withdrew from last year’s budget negotiations -which ended up being approved thanks to the support of En Comú Podem- and the independence bloc was completely fractured when, last October, JxCat decided to leave the Government by accusing Aragonès of Put a stop to the process, which forced ERC to reconfigure its alliances and get closer to the Socialists, despite the initial reluctance expressed by Oriol Junqueras.
Two years of oxygen for Pere Aragonès
The break in the coalition with JxCat represented an opportunity for Aragonès – to manage the Generalitat without the constant mutual tripping between partners – but also a weakness, since suddenly the Government was left with the only support of the 33 ERC deputies.
A Parliamentary veto of the budgets would have been a blow to Aragonès, who would have found himself in the dilemma of resisting precariously with extended accounts in the middle of the electoral year -with the municipal ones in May already on the horizon- or calling early elections, with the PSC leading the polls.
Although the first secretary of the PSC and head of the opposition in Catalonia, Salvador Illa, has stressed that today is not a legislature agreement, the endorsement of the Socialists for the budgets gives Aragonès two years of oxygen: he will be able to spend 2023 with some expansive accounts -with 3,000 million extra euros- and, in the worst case, it could extend them in 2024 without having to advance elections.
Ill consolidates his influence
Although his yes to the budgets supports Aragonès for now, Illa has managed to make visible the fragility of the Government, by winning the pulse so that it commits to promoting infrastructures that the socialists put as a condition, such as the B-40 highway.
Illa has asserted her negotiating cards until the end, knowing that ERC had already spent hers before, in the negotiation of the General State Budget, which the Republicans supported after agreeing with the Government of Pedro Sánchez on the suppression of the crime of sedition , without wanting to condition his ‘yes’ to a subsequent socialist support for the accounts of the Generalitat.
While the PSC’s endorsement of the budgets is linked to the image of responsibility and constructive opposition that Illa has wanted to cultivate, the commons appear on the political board as an essential actor, with an ERC that has had to strike balances to prevent the conditions of the socialists on infrastructures will ruin their pact last December with En Comú Podem.
JXcCat: opposition against the new tripartite
The budget agreement leaves out of the picture a JxCat engaged in internal debates between those who would like to regain centrality as a moderate force and those who emphasize the “confrontation” with the State, although the formation led by Jordi Turull and Laura Borràs had consensus in considering that the rupture of the Government made a budget pact almost impossible.
With the handshake between Aragonès and Illa, JxCat wins an argument to emerge as an “alternative” in the upcoming electoral campaigns: “the tripartite has returned” that in the first decade of the new millennium already shared socialists, republicans and commoners.
If for JxCat this new scenario represents an opportunity to gain support among the pro-independence electorate that does not understand that ERC “abandon the pro-independence majority” and get closer to the PSC, for the CUP it is also time to denounce the drift of an Esquerra that agrees on claimed infrastructures to the right.