Analysis
Politics 25/05/2021

A Government designed to last and focus on management

Sànchez needs time to build a new Junts per Catalunya

2 min
The secretary general of Together, Jordi Sànchez, and the national coordinator of ERC, Pere Aragonès, Monday.

BarcelonaFrom the Aragonès-Artadi tandem, we have moved on to an Aragonès-Puigneró duo to lead the the new government . The first conclusion, quite obvious, is that Jordi Puigneró does not have, at least for now, the political weight that Elsa Artadi would have given to the position. Therefore, in some way it confirms a commitment to more technical and management profiles, to the detriment of more political ones. Puigneró can get along well with Aragonès in this sense, taking for granted that the crises, which will inevitably come, will have to be resolved between the new president and the secretary general of Junts, Jordi Sànchez, who is almost solely responsible for the choice of the names that corresponded to his party.

This is a government, then, designed to last and to focus on management. And this is so because Sànchez needs time to complete the transition from movement to party that he is leading in Junts, and because ERC wants to demonstrate that its path - accumulation of forces and commitment to dialogue - is the right one. This is a first message that aims both to defuse the foreseeable opposition that will come from the most unredeemed independentists (the Borràs-Torra axis) and from unionism that dreams of another unstable Government (from the PSC to the right).

One of the keys that explains the government agreement is that both Oriol Junqueras and Carles Puigdemont have taken their particular step aside and have delegated to Aragonès and Sànchez. Between Junqueras and Puigdemont there is an emotional chasm that even three years's work by pro-sovereignty entities, especially Òmnium, have not been able to overcome. Both Aragonès and Sànchez (and Puigneró) have shorter histories between them, and what is at stake here, as the secretary general of Junts always stresses, is "rebuilding trust".

Another element to highlight is that Junts has decided to fight the battle to recover the banner that had traditionally been CiU's hallmark: good management and a privileged relationship with the economic world. This is one of the keys to the signing of Jaume Giró, the real coup de théâtre for Junts. Sànchez is determined to build a serious governing party, a Convergència of the 21st century, ideologically elastic and irreducibly pro-independence, but without the tics and hindrances of Pujolism.

Puigdemontists and 'convergents'

This task, of enormous complexity, is being undertaken by Sànchez alone and against the elements, like a kind of Quixote. With the new Government he has distanced himself from both the hard core of Puigdemontism of recent years (Artadi, Rius, Batet) and CiU core (Budó and Calvet as representatives of Jordi Turull and Josep Rull). The success of this transition towards a new Junts will also depend on the success of the new executive.

But it should not be forgotten that, in any Government, the element that makes the difference is the president. Aragonès will have to lead a process of dialogue with the State of uncertain outcome and that is a sword of Damocles for the halfway point of the mandate. The stability of his government, but also his political future will also depend on his ability to convince Pedro Sánchez that he has to budge to fill the negotiation with content. The two need each other. And this is always an advantage when it comes to the Spanish president.

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