The ERC-JxCat negotiation needs a boost
Two delegations of ERC and JxCat met again this Saturday to try to find a solution to the negotiations to form a government, but the pact still seems far away. In spite of the fact that with the meeting in Lledoners' prison on Tuesday a push was given to the talks and the final folder was already opened, the one on the distribution of Departments between the two formations, today we have not yet reached the point where it can be said that the negotiation is on track and has already overcome the main obstacles. Nothing could be further from the truth. The main obstacles, the role of the Consell per la República and the pro-independence strategy, are still unresolved 25 days before the final deadline.
This is probably why ERC is considering communicating to Junts in the next few hours the possibility of forming a government by themselves, for the time being and until there is a definitive agreement for a bipartite executive. It was the same vice-president and candidate to the investiture, Pere Aragonès, who warned a week ago from the pages of this newspaper that if on May 1st there was no agreement the republicans would be forced to explore "alternative ways" with Junts. It is unlikely, however, that Junts will accept the path of ERC's solitary government, and it is most likely that in the coming days we will see an intensification of negotiations. However, it is clear that, given the extreme slowness of the talks and the situation of the country, which cries out for the formation of a government to put in place all the mechanisms of economic recovery, a boost would be needed to put the negotiation on another plane and give it a definitive push.
ERC is hoping that this will be the catalyst for the proposal of a solo government, while Junts is unimpressed by ultimatums and remains unmoved by pressure to speed up the formation of the new executive. But the days are passing and there are more and more signs that the lack of agreement has a cost for the country. Just this week, the secretary general of CCOO in Catalonia, Javier Pacheco, alerted the ARA that other regional governments, and he explicitly mentioned Aragon, were playing their cards better to host the electric battery plant that has to feed the Seat factory. The trade union leaders of UGT and CCOO also took advantage of Saturday's May Day to urge the formation of a government.
The argument that in other countries, such as Belgium or Holland, it is usual that negotiations to form a government last months or even years is not applicable in the Catalan case, where the impact of the pandemic requires to have a government and a president with all the powers and political initiative as soon as possible. And, moreover, the two parties had known for more than a year that they would have to tackle this negotiation scenario. Two and a half months after the elections, there is no argument with sufficient weight to justify this delay. And what is worse, there is no certainty that this long negotiation will result in a much more solid government than the previous one.