ERC-En Comú deal for Generalitat and Barcelona budgets

Aragonès informed the Government of the deal first thing this morning

2 min
Pere Aragonès, the vice-president, Jordi Puigneró, and the councillors of Economy and Presidency, Jaume Giró and Laura Vilagrà

BarcelonaAfter yesterday's meeting with En Comú, Catalan president Pere Aragonès has reached a pre-agreement with En Comú Podem for Catalonia and Barcelona's budget. Aragonès's Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and Barcelona mayor Colau's En Comú's quid pro quo would allow both administrations to approve next year's budgets. Rac 1 reported – and ARA has been able to confirm – that Aragonès informed the executive council first thing in the morning that En Comú Podem was willing to withdraw its amendment to the totality, while the leader of the Republicans in Barcelona, Ernest Maragall, has also made a move to allow the approval of the city's budget.

After this exchange, ERC's coalition partner JxCat has to reassess its position. Yesterday the party's secretary general, Jordi Sànchez, said in a press conference that they would not accept a change in the draft budget prepared by Minister of Economy, JxCat's Jaume Giró, and warned that they would not give in to En Comú Podem over issues where they have not yielded to their other prospective partner, anti-capitalist CUP. A meeting of the JxCat execultive is scheduled this morning to analyse the pre-agreement between ERC and En Comú.

According to sources familiar with the deal consulted by ARA, the president has made offers to En Comú over issues such as the development of taxes provided for in the law on climate change – the tax on port emissions of large ships, the extension of the tax on empty homes or a new tax on ultraprocessed food. The introduction of an additional provision to the accompanying law to bring emergency hotlines 061 and 112 in house (as had been offered to CUP), investing €1bn in housing policies (which CUP had also demanded) and investments in trams and promotion of reindustrialization. The introduction of public psychology and dentistry services, which were one of En Comú Podem's main demands, has not been included for the moment. In fact, most of these are measures that the government had already introduced in the last offer it made to CUP and the anti-capitalists rejected.

Maragall's press conference

The executive has until this noon to finish close the last details of the pact, since at two o'clock the House will convene to decide whether it will process the budget. ERC leader in Barcelona city council, Ernest Maragall, explained they would allow the budget to be processed. They said they accept the contradiction this means –they remained stiff in opposition last week– but consider it a price to be paid. He highlighted the fact that they would not try to renegotiate the budget and simply abstain in order to allow the budget to be processed.