Green light to Catalan 2022 budget
Government receives support from En Comú and as rift with CUP widens
BarcelonaTwelve years after the last time it came into force on January 1, the Generalitat budget for next year will has been approved on time. The Catalan Government received En Comú Podem's support and Finance Minister Jaume Giró thanked the party for their responsibility, despite his own party's misgivings about the agreement. En Comú Podem has thus become the executive's partner after CUP dissociated itself from the coalition government between ERC and JxCat, and has conspired to "destabilise" the government for as long as the Catalan government's "autonomist drift" –as opposed to pro-independence– lasts. The CUP's MP Eulàlia Reguant told En Comú representatives they had not helped the country, as they had renounced to put pressure on to obtain improvements in the budget, and instead were happy for a quid pro quo exchange with Barcelona City Council budget. "It is not a time for a fight, it is a time for dialogue and negotiation," En Comú Podem MP Joan Carles Gallego answered. Gallego led the negotiations with the Department of Economy and the Presidency to close the budget.
The CUP used the debate to confirm its distance with the Catalan executive admitting that since the investiture they have not approved "anything transcendental" jointly. Even so, Reguant has not wanted to tear up CUP's agreement with the government. Instead, she urged the Government to "reflect" during the Christmas holidays. In fact, minister Giró urged CUP to return to the table to discuss the 2023 budget: "In these accounts I have missed a piece, that of the pro-independence majority".
JxCat MP Joan Canadell insisted on the same idea. "I would have liked the budgets to be approved with the 52% [of pro-independence votes]," he said, and directly blamed CUP for breaking the pro-sovereignty unity. However, he lowered the tone with Aragonès, who he had accused of returning to autonomism. In the end, unlike his speech a fortnight ago, he defended approving to the accounts "to improve people's lives" even if it was with En Comú as a partner.
Socialist spokeswoman Alícia Romero also referred to the rift amid pro-independence parties. She questioned the executive on what the course their government will now take. She again regretted Aragonès did not want to count on the PSC when negotiating the budgets – in spite of Salvador Illa's numerous offers – and that they have not been accepted "not even one amendment" in spite of being the first group in the chamber.