20/05/2021

On the good tone of the Aragonès-Illa debate

2 min
The leader of the PSC to the Parliament, Salvador Illa, greeting this Thursday to the vice-president in functions and presidential candidate of ERC, Pere Aragonès

Neither Pere Aragonès (ERC) nor Salvador Illa (PSC) renounced their political positions on Thursday, but the good tone of the exchange they maintained in the investiture debate is an indication that a new political stage in Catalonia may begin today. Obviously, the political conflict with the State is still very much alive and nothing suggests a solution in the short term, but at least it seems that Parliament can leave behind the tension and demagogy that Ciutadans imposed during its five years with Inés Arrimadas as leader of the opposition. Salvador Illa made it clear that he does not share the pro-independence project and that he will firmly oppose it, but he also offered Aragonès collaboration in key aspects such as the fight against the pandemic and European funds.

It is true that these are only words, but the future president would do well to take Illa at his word and involve him in the search for efficient management. This would have at least two immediate advantages: on the one hand, it would help to lower the tension and demonstrate that, contrary to what Cs claimed, in Catalonia there are not two communities at odds and incapable of collaborating with each other, but rather that from respect and loyalty it is possible to work together on specific aspects to defend the interests of the country as a whole. Because, as Aragonès said, "those who today reject the Catalan Republic must know that the Catalan Republic will never reject them". The second advantage is that, as has already happened during the Tripartit years (2003-2010), involving the socialists against the State could create more than one contradiction for them.

The future Government does not have to be afraid of gaining more support, quite the contrary, because the aim is to strengthen the Generalitat's negotiating position in all fora where resources are at stake, whether in Madrid or in Brussels. In the same way, the success of the dialogue table will depend to a large extent on the social and political support proposals defended by the Government receive. In this sense, the idea expressed by Aragonès of seeking broad consensus through the National Pacts is a good strategy, both to achieve the goals and to reconstruct society. And the referendum is, even today, what most unites Catalans.

In any case, the most urgent thing is for Government to get to work immediately on the economic reconstruction of the country, and for this reason it will be necessary to align all the actors in the country: the public and private sectors, trade unions and employers, the Government and the opposition. In the case of the Government, the key will be the figure of the future Minister of Economy, after Elsa Artadi surprisingly turned down the position. Traditionally, the Department of Economy has always been occupied by a heavyweight, someone who, with a more or less academic profile, or more or less political, ended up being a pillar of the executive, an inexcusable reference. And for this government, with the great challenge of the European funds, this will be even more the case. Junts' responsibility now is to ensure that internal balances or any other consideration do not come before the intrinsic value of the person elected, who will have in their hands the budgetary responsibility and the promotion of the European funds that should help transform the economy.

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