27/03/2021

The pro-independence movement has not learned its lesson

2 min
Pere Aragonès, Friday in the session in which he presented himself for investiture as president of the Generalitat.

During the election campaign, ERC and Junts constantly promised that the new Government would be based on new foundations, that the broken trusts would be rebuilt and that they had learned their lesson so as to not repeat the mess of the last legislature. Elections, moreover, had been on the horizon ever since the then president Quim Torra assumed the legislature had ended in December 2020, although it was his disqualification that finally caused the electoral advance, and everyone took for granted that ERC and JxCat would have to agree again. Even so, these two parties have been unable to close a pact quickly, so the first attempt at investiture this Friday in the Parliament has failed, and Pere Aragonès has not gathered enough votes.

When the debate began, the result was already known, because Junts had already announced that it would abstain from voting and ERC could only add the votes of the CUP due to the agreement that was signed between the two forces. What was not expected is the degree of hostility between the two main actors of the independentist movement, which led Junts to make an unprecedented request to the candidate of ERC: to renounce standing for the second vote, which the bureau set for Tuesday, and to wait to have closed an agreement with them. Aragonès declined the request with the argument that the situation of the country, with the pandemic and the economic crisis that has derived from it, does not admit any more delays.

However, at this time hardly anyone believes that Junts and ERC will reach an agreement before Tuesday, so the first attempt to invest a president and a pro-independence government -the only majority that seems to be achievable at this point- may end in a resounding failure. Unfortunately, the two parties proved the opposition right, especially the PSC of Salvador Illa, who criticised the spectacle and the little trust they generate in order to form a stable and solid Government. The candidate of the comuns, Jéssica Albiach, said that rather than feeling like Vietnam, the next Govern will be an "Iraq", in reference to the reality of a country bled by its internal strife.

Junts did not hide its anger with the speech of Aragonès, which basically pivoted on the program of ERC and the agreement signed with the CUP. On the other hand, the cupaires were satisfied, and their spokeswoman, Dolors Sabater, stressed in her speech that they "had done their homework". Now Junts will have to gauge very well how far it can extend the negotiation, since the country is not in a situation of normality and has been in a kind of forced interim period for too long.

The most responsible thing would be for the two parties to make an effort between now and Tuesday, and if the agreement cannot be finalised before Tuesday, at least to get it back on track definitively. A second failed investiture vote without any prospect of agreement -and with the level of criticism and mistrust that could be seen on Friday- would be proof that the independence movement has learned nothing from its recent past. And a very bad omen for the future.

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