15/02/2022

Strengthening the consensus to strengthen the negotiation

2 min
aragonese capture

BarcelonaCoinciding with the first anniversary of the elections that brought him to the Palau de la Generalitat, Catalan president Pere Aragonès, wanted to make an analysis of the current political moment, combined with a more in-depth speech about his project for the country. Regarding the first point, Aragonès admitted that the negotiating table with the State to resolve the political conflict is experiencing a "deadlock", a "moment of difficulty", which he attributes to Spanish government's "lack of courage" when it comes to articulating a proposal for Catalan society.

Aragonès's proposal to overcome this bad moment in the negotiations is, precisely, to strengthen the consensus of Catalan society through a process of internal dialogue that has to be as broad as possible, something that, as he already advanced in Parliament, also includes the Catalan Socialists' party. In parallel, the president also called on the rest of pro-independence forces to stop "reproaching" and talking about "heroes and traitors", since "no one is more pro-independence than anyone else". The combination, then, of a Spanish government that takes advantage of any excuse to delay dialogue and partners who do not trust the negotiating table and who maintain a theoretically different strategy leaves Aragonès in a delicate situation.

For this reason, the president of the Generalitat is seeking to make himself strong in the idea of dialogue and unity to try to overcome the deadlock and not get trapped between one and the other. It remains to be seen, however, how effective this promised internal dialogue and the initiative to meet with the Catalan deputies in Madrid and Brussels (it is understood that except for those of the triple right) to try to find the most common ground is. But none of this will work if the President is not able to convince his Spanish counterpart, Pedro Sanchez, that he has to make a move in favour of the negotiating table if he does not want to jeopardise the governability itself (after all, ERC votes are key in Madrid) and end up opening the doors to a PP-Vox government.

In this sense, elections in Castilla y León may work as a vaccine, since the Andalusian PP now rules out bringing forward the elections. If this is confirmed, it will open a period without elections until the end of the year in which the Catalan and Spanish governments would have to make substantial advances in the negotiation process. This is a window of opportunity that cannot be missed, because next year will be an election year and the room for manoeuvre will be greatly reduced. Aragonès would have to move fast to try to assure the PSC's the commitment to dialogue, and mobilise society so that, in turn, it puts pressure on Sánchez. In the internal pro-independence camp, a minimum pact would be desirable that includes the necessary institutional loyalty between partners that any government needs to function, and that one year after the elections has not yet been achieved.

Time is passing and, although everyone is aware that the conflict will not be resolved swiftly, it is the very instrument, the negotiating table, which is endangered if there is no continuity and, even less, no will for it to bear visible fruit.

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