Politics 09/09/2021

A failure that strains the relationship between partners

The division extends to the Generalitat, the Moncloa and the City Council

2 min
The Minister for Transport, Raquel Sánchez, during the appearance in Barcelona

BarcelonaThe failure of the negotiations between the Generalitat and the Spanish government put a stop yesterday - at least for the moment - to the airport expansion project, but the way in which the rupture occurred also leaves many wounds along the way between partners at a decisive moment of the legislature, both in Catalonia - where it is just beginning - and in the State - where PSOE and Unidas Podemos play the possibility of being able to run out the mandate with some peace of mind. The announcement from Barcelona of the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, that the Spanish government was suspending investment in the airport "due to lack of consensus" with the Catalan executive ended the possibility of extending the third runway and the debate around La Ricarda, but also opened a crack in the trust between PSOE and ERC at the gates of the dialogue table and the negotiation of a general state budget for which the votes of ERC are now essential.

Both in public and in private, government sources on both sides tried yesterday to play down the importance of the clash and made an effort to dissociate the airport negotiation from the one that has to be opened at the end of next week when the dialogue table meets in Barcelona. Even so, they admitted that the relationship between the two main interlocutors of each executive is scarred. The Republicans because they feel deceived and believe that the PSOE has used them as a scapegoat to derail a project that, they interpret, the socialists knew would fail - the president of the Generalitat found out the news through the media while returning from the Valencian Country -. And the socialists because they do not understand that Esquerra has flirted in recent days with protest demonstrations against the airport expansion despite the agreement between governments reached at the beginning of August.

The Catalan Government Vice President, Jordi Puigneró

This is the atmosphere between both governments a few days before a meeting of the dialogue table to which, for now, the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, has not even confirmed his attendance. But it is also the atmosphere just before starting to negotiate the accounts. The fall of a 1,700 million euros investment is not the best introduction letter in the face of the talks around the budgets without which the government of PSOE and Unidas Podemos have difficulties to keep the legislature alive.

Yolanda Díaz's joy

Beyond the tension between Esquerra and PSOE, the airport chapter also bruises the relationship between partners within the Generalitat Government, within the Spanish government and also within the City Council of Barcelona. The rift in the Catalan executive was evident when the Catalan Vice President, Jordi Puigneró, appeared from Brussels before the logo of JxCat and implicitly criticising ERC, but also in Madrid, where, despite the PSOE's attempts to place the opposition to the expansion only in Catalonia, the second Vice President, Yolanda Díaz, publicly celebrated the withdrawal of the project and the preservation of La Ricarda. Today she will visit the space together with the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, despite the calls of her first deputy mayor, Jaume Collboni, to not give up the expansion of El Prat.

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