A strong Government to start the reconstruction
Once the cards of 14-F have been dealt, and it has been confirmed that the most viable option is a Government supported by the pro-independence majority of 74 MPs, it is time to start working to make it a reality in the shortest possible time. Fortunately, it seems that the three parties involved, ERC, Junts and the CUP, agree on the diagnosis and aspire to a quick negotiation that will allow Pere Aragonès to be invested as the 132nd President of the Generalitat. It is true that the socialist Salvador Illa is claiming his party's status as the most voted party to opt for the investiture, but the new president of the Parliament will hardly ask him to stand before parliament if there is another candidate with more support. This insistence has to be understood more as part of a strategy to fix in the collective imagination that the PSC is the winner of the elections (something that three years ago Inés Arrimadas was uncapable of exploiting) than as a real attempt to aspire to the presidency.
Thus, the focus in the coming weeks will be on these three-way negotiations between Esquerra, Junts and the CUP (En Comú do not seem very interested in joining), which from the outset seem to have understood that the possibility of a blockage or a repeat election is not an option. The country is not in a position to hold out any longer without a strong government that can diligently tackle both the management of the pandemic (which already seems to be on track) and, above all, the reconstruction of the economy with European funds. Whether we like it or not, the priority of the next government must be both to prevent the pandemic from causing a social catastrophe and to lay the foundations for the productive model of the future, and we cannot afford to lose track of this.
This is why the new government must agree on new foundations, a shared programme with a defined economic orientation that will allow it to hit cruising speed on day one and avoid the hesitations, sterile polemics and petty battles that have marked the previous legislature. The Government must have political as well as technical expertise, because Catalonia will have to compete for these funds on the basis of interesting projects, but it will also have to know how to make the most of its weight in the Spanish Parliament to extract benefits, as the PNV (and also Bildu) does for the Basque Country. As ERC and the CUP argue, now is not the time for a symbolic unilateral declaration of independence, but to work for the country's progress with the tools available.
The pandemic, however, cannot hide the existence of a political conflict that must also be managed. Pere Aragonès will have to lead the negotiation with the Spanish government and make progress towards the release of prisoners and the return of exiles. The end of the repression must be used to reset the counter to zero, improve the climate and finally confront the political conflict around self-determination and the unity of the state. But bearing in mind that the pro-independence project will not succeed until it demonstrates through facts that it is capable of improving people's lives, that the fact of having an ambitious long-term objective does not lead it to ignore the present. That in addition to being a fair and exciting project, it is, in short, useful.