10/11/2021

Decisive budgets for the country and for the Catalan government

2 min
The Minister of Economy, Jaume Giró, during the presentation of the budget to Parliament

The best demonstration of a government's solidity is the approval of budgets. In a coalition government, this is even truer. And in a coalition government without a parliamentary majority, even more so. The situation of coming out of the double pandemic crisis, which has been a health crisis and still is an economic one, gives an added plus to this peremptory need for governmental stability. If we add to all this the fact that, thanks precisely to the Next Generation European funds to drive us out of the crisis, the 2022 budgets will be the record budgets of the Generalitat de Catalunya, there is no longer any discussion. Hence why the Minister of Economy, Jaume Giró, of JxCat, insisted yesterday with maximum emphasis in the presentation of the numbers in the Parc de la Ciutadella that this project of accounts will go ahead whether yes or not. "Budgets or budgets", he concluded. Despite maintaining the CUP as a priority parliamentary partner, and giving all the margin to the anticapitalists to take the decision in their own way, he did not rule out other alliances if necessary. Because the goal of the country, and of the government, is that the Catalan administration does not have to go to 2022 with budgets that have been postponed, which would take away a lot of strength from its political action. Behind this forceful stance is the shared conviction of ERC and JxCat to strengthen the pro-independence coalition executive and to demonstrate their pragmatism in order to move the country forward in difficult and decisive times. The way out of the crisis calls for great efforts all over the world, and the public sector has to be a driving force and an example. If this engine remains lame, if the opportunity of expansive budgets is lost, which, moreover, emphasise both social policies (health, education, housing, culture) and economic reactivation, as well as incorporating programmatic novelties such as the Ministry of Feminisms, it will be doing the country a sad favour.

All this is what the CUP's rank and file will have to elucidate when it comes to deciding its final position, which could take a long time because it could include the presentation of an amendment to the totality of the budgets - but continue negotiating. There is, therefore, a time margin. However, at the same time, the parties of the governing coalition, if they are clear, as it seems to be, that the budgets cannot be renounced, they will have to begin to explore other avenues in the event that the anti-capitalists decide to stay on the sidelines. In this case, they would enter into a quid pro quo relationship when negotiating the budgets of the State and the Generalitat, which, of course, would reduce the pro-independence parties' capacity to exert pressure in Madrid, since they too would need support in Barcelona. Both would need each other. This is the scenario that could open up if the CUP breaks away from the pro-independence majority. The next few weeks, therefore, will be crucial to see what direction governability takes both in Catalonia and in Spain.