Misc 19/11/2020

Catalan government fails to work hand in hand

The executive branch already tried to stop the clashes 20 days ago

Gerard Pruna
2 min
Els consellers del Govern durant una reunió recent del consell executiu al Palau de la Generalitat amb Pere Aragonès i Meritxell Budó presidint.

BarcelonaTruces last less and less in the Palau de la Generalitat. The Government of JxCat and ERC has been working as two different watertight compartments for some time now, and the perspective of the February 14th elections, following the disqualification of former president Quim Torra, has only accentuated this. Even the need to deal with the second wave of the pandemic has not stopped internal disputes from surfacing, and these are becoming increasingly raw. Crises have become periodic. The last one occurred yesterday: it started in the morning when ERC left the crisis committee for Covid-19, and was redirected, at least momentarily, at noon with a meeting between the vice-president, Pere Aragonès, and the Minister of Presidency, Meritxell Budó, in which both of them came together again to work as one. This is similar to what occurred three weeks ago, which was the last time that - according to several government sources consulted by ARA - all the Ministers made a promise to minimise their internal battles. From what we saw yesterday, they failed.

On October 28th, while the Guardia Civil was combing the territory in another macro-operation against the Procés, the Government met informally - without summoning and without taking minutes - in the Palau. It was a marathon meeting that lasted the entire morning - it was only interrupted so that some of the Ministers could participate in the act in Plaça Sant Jaume through which the independence movement rejected the Volhov operation - and which, after an interruption at midday, was resumed in the evening. The meeting took place after the confusion created by the Minister of Labour - Chakir el Homrani - on the obligatory nature of teleworking put the cherry on top of a few days of contradictory messages between the ministers - on the possibility of curfew, the possibility of opening theatres, or the possibility of calling a truce on hospitality work. The meeting, according to various sources, served to show the Government's willingness to make amends.

Avoiding leaks

The conclusion reached that day was that it was necessary to not contribute to the restlessness and confusion of a citizenry that was already showing signs of running out of patience. It was agreed on to minimise the public appearances of the Ministers, and to let the singing voice be carried by Aragonese, Budó, Salut, and Home Affairs alone. Above all, it was agreed on that there would be no public discussion of measures that had not been previously agreed upon and approved by the entire executive branch. The pact was short-lived. The scoldings and reprimands between Labour and Digital Policies due to the freelancers' aid fiasco, and the clash between Aragonès and Ramon Tremosa due to the leak (coming from the Ministry of Business) of a plan to reopen bars and restaurants soon, were the prelude to a crisis that only broke out yesterday. Truces are short-lived in a government in which electoral drive, as well as the desire to stand out and tread on partners - which are, at the same time, electoral rivals - establish themselves.