No Winter Olympics, no Hard Rock casino, no racetrack, increase in income tax and a referendum: the CUP's conditions
Illa asks for an urgent meeting with Aragonès to agree the budgets without the CUP
Five axes and dozens of concrete proposals. These are the conditions that the CUP put on the Government's table in order to shift its opposition to the budget: as ARA has learnt, the CUP demand, on the one hand, scrapping the candidacy to the Winter Olympic Games and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Complex, as well as putting the new tender for Catalonia's racetrack in Montmeló on hold. On the other hand, CUP also demands higher income tax for those earning over €60,000 a year and a wealth tax on the super rich. The proceeds would be used to fight climate change.
CUP doesn't stop here: it also demands that the Government creates the conditions to hold a referendum of self-determination before the next elections and places a time limit on the negotiating table with the State. In addition, CUP demands the budget for housing policies be increased to €1bn, water utilities to be run by councils, accusations against pro-independence activists to be withdrawn and sanctions on protestors imposed using the so-called gag law to be removed.
This is the price the CUP has set for its support to the Generalitat's accounts and to withdraw the amendment it announced yesterday . CUP spokeswoman Eulàlia Reguant listed the axes of their conditions in an interview on TV3: "We talk about the withdrawal of macro-projects, housing, taxation, a horizon towards self-determination and ending repression," she said before making it clear that it is now the executive who has to decide whether to accept these requests. "We will evaluate the whole", she said, on what would happen if all their demands were not met. "They are vital elements to prove the Government has changed," she remarked.
The PSC, in the meantime, has decided to stop waiting for a call form the Government to enter the budget negotiation and has taken a step forward. The socialist leader in the Parliament, Salvador Illa, has asked for an "urgent" meeting with the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, to agree on "a budget for the country". "Not for a bloc, but for a country," he insisted. The PSC offered a pact that excluded CUP, which they considered incompatible.
"I would like this meeting to take place today," said Illa shortly before Parliament convened, and formalized the request with a letter to the head of the Government. "I am addressing you [...] to unblock the negotiation of the budget for the Generalitat for 2022," the letter reads. The socialist leader set the conditions that would have to guide this eventual negotiation, such as health, industrial policies, ensuring "that no one is left behind" or equality and feminism policies.
Illa said the offer is perhaps not "the most convenient" for his party, but added that "it is the most convenient for the country", especially to "avoid the risks" of the current disagreement between coalition partners. The Catalan government has refused the offer, but the pressure is mounting. Illa said the pro-independence majority has been broken or has "insufficient strength", while others say this manoeuvre seeks precisely to break sovereigntist unity.
CUP warns that it is incompatible to negotiate with them and PSC
Reguant has warned Aragonès that the PSC's policies and the CUP's are "incompatible". According to CUP spokeswoman Reguant, it is the Government who has to decide what policies and commitments it wants to acquire and this will "show" who their preferred partner is. In this sense, she recalled that PSC and Junts agreed on a proposal in defence of the expansion of El Prat or that socialists and ERC backed the negotiating table in the general policy debate.
If the PSC or En Comú abstain to allow the processing of the budget, Reguant said they will continue working "to get the Government to respond to a shift to the left and the exercise of the right to self-determination," and that, therefore, they do not consider negotiations broken. Even if in the end the CUP opposes the budget, Reguant still back a pro-independence majority led by the left, because "the country's needs won't have changed".