Building trust to transform the country

4 min
The hemicycle of the Parliament in an archive image.

In the face of covid-19, the social and economic crisis it has provoked, and the deadlock of the conflict with the State, the elections to the Catalan Parliament on 14 February presented us with a historic opportunity to transform the country; to confront with determination the social emergencies that we are suffering and that the pandemic has aggravated; to promote an economic reconstruction aimed at laying the foundations of a new productive model that measures its strength in terms of prosperity and well-being for everyone; and to take advantage of all the strength that comes from having received over 50% of the votes for the first time to defend the Catalan Republic as never before, to obtain amnesty and self-determination inevitable.

That is why we cannot waste any more time or prolong an interim government that weakens our capacity to act. It is time for a Government that makes the most of the four years of the legislature, thinking - and working - from the outset on the decade that lies ahead of us. The situation the country is going through requires us to get going this very Friday, taking advantage of the opportunity we have to build a Government with renewed energy. And I am convinced that we will reach an agreement. Because we are ready. Because I am ready.

We have the opportunity to promote a plural, strong and stable Government to begin a new era of progress, social justice and freedom. A Government with all the strength, responsibility and irreplaceable and non-delegable legitimacy that comes from being the result of democratic elections that have shown a diverse country but with great shared ideas that unite us. Therefore, although it is not easy, if we start from generosity, empathy and the will to work on the basis of agreements and not impositions, it is possible to build trust to begin to shape the new republican Generalitat. That is why I want to thank Candidatura d'Unitat Popular-Un Nou Cicle Per Guanyar (CUP-UNCPG) for their efforts to reach a pre-agreement for the investiture in view of Friday's plenary session and for their commitment to get involved in the governability of the country.

The bases of the agreement, pending ratification by respective party bodies, are clear: to address the housing emergency; to strengthen the primary health care system; to rethink the model of public order management; and to create the conditions for the next democratic onslaught against the state. These are issues that we share and that we have been able to prioritise based on mutual trust in order to provide the Government of the Generalitat with the stability that the current difficulties require.

Trust and stability. Two basic premises that every government needs if it is to successfully deal with the great challenges we face as a country, and which the new republican Generalitat will reinforce by governing with an unequivocal vocation for public service, always seeking citizens' involvement and acting at all times with the utmost transparency. Avoiding mere technocratic management and populist emptiness, and promoting a transformative Government that restores the demands of politics, that keeps its feet on the ground, taking on ambitious and far-sighted commitments that need to be evaluated periodically. That is why confidence and stability, today, are based on governing well and not being afraid of being accountable. Because this is the best way to advance and progress. Evaluating ourselves. Acting with maximum transparency, as any modern, advanced government that is close to the people must be. For this reason, I am convinced - and this is what we have agreed with the CUP-UNCPG - that it is good and healthy that after I become president of the Generalitat I should submit to a confidence vote halfway through my term as a mutual assessment, to renew the agreement and to reinforce the Government's stability.

Adopting the commitment to submit myself to a confidence vote ensures the investiture and the approval of the budgets (providing the new Government with the necessary stability) but, above all, it acts as a guarantee of working on the basis of shared objectives, and this will surely bring cohesion to governability and strengthen governance. It ensures stability, and it does so because it has the virtue of establishing and rebuilding complicities based on mutual demands at a time as complex as the present. It establishes trust with those who share the vocation to transform the country. It rebuilds trust with all those who share the conviction that the way out of the political conflict with the State is through the freedom of prisoners, the free return of exiles and the exercise of the right to self-determination. To build trust with all those who, from the plurality and diversity of ideas, share the great consensuses defended by a very broad social majority in Catalonia.

With the pre-agreement with the CUP-UNCPG we lay the first stone of the new republican Generalitat. A Generalitat that wants to be the government of shared struggles, the government that makes the great consensuses that move Catalan society its own and uses them as a basis to advance further. But this is only the first step. That is why we have the obligation to intensify negotiations with Junts and the CUP-UNCPG to solidify the agreement before Friday. And we will know how to do it. Faced with the difficulties the country is experiencing, I am convinced that we will be able to put together a government agreement that will allow us to face with all our strength and without further delay all the social emergencies, the economic reconstruction of the country and the resolution of the conflict with the State. The moment demands from all of us the will to reach an agreement. Because only with a real willingness to reach an agreement is it possible to build trust in order to transform the country.

Pere Aragonès is interim vice-president of the Generalitat