Jordi Sànchez: "What we offer ERC is absolute loyalty in the agreements we build"

The secretary general of JxCat calls for a reworking of strategic unity to prevent the next legislature from being a shambles

Gerard Pruna
4 min
Jordi Sànchez interviewed

BarcelonaThe secretary general of JxCat, Jordi Sànchez, attends the ARA in the morning without knowing yet if the judge of penitentiary surveillance will decide today if he suspends the open prison regime and makes him return to the Lledoners prison.

Are you confident that you will not have to return immediately to prison?

— I don't like to speculate. We are aware that the High Court and the Prosecutor's Office have the will to continue punishing us. We do not expect anything.

What about the State Attorney's Office, which has to make a report on the pardons?

— Why hasn't it done so yet? Probably because it was in the interest of waiting to see what happened on 14-F. The government of Pedro Sánchez also plays and speculates with the pardons.

What is your assessment of the results of 14-F?

— For JxCat they are positive for three reasons: because the pro-independence movement has imposed itself again, because it has exceeded 51%, and because with 32 seats we have achieved very good results. A party that started out just over six months ago has shown that it has muscle, that it has a long way to go and that it has credibility.

Do you regret not having formed a coalition with PDECat?

— What hurts us is that there have been 75,000 votes that have not been useful to independence. It will be up to whoever it is up to, and it is not up to JxCat to reflect on it.

The former president Mas has spoken of "reconciliation". Are you in favour of this?

— We are absolutely open to continue adding people, not acronyms. Any PDECat member or voter is welcome. I have great respect for president Mas, not many days ago he came to the prison and we had a very long and sincere conversation.

Has ERC already contacted you to negotiate the investiture?

— We are still waiting to arrange a meeting. We want to build a majority and value the 51% that the pro-independence bloc has had.

Are you surprised that they have not called you first?

— We do not think it is important. The moment they call us, we will be there, because the will is there, and we also know that the will of ERC is this one. Therefore, we do not want to make any strange readings regarding this.

Do you fear that ERC may be tempted to try to form a government without you?

— I do not have this feeling. In any case, it is ERC who has to decide on the strategy to build a majority.

For you, what should be done with this 51% of the vote?

— First we will listen to the will of ERC. What we do say is that this must be a legislature that avoids the mistakes of the previous one, in which we did not manage to build a shared strategy.

You defended ratifying in Parliament the declaration of sovereignty, the declaration of rupture and reactivating the DUI (the unilateral declaration of independence) if the 50% of votes were exceeded. Does this commitment remain?

— It is part of the 50 points we have been working on and we will have to see what ERC's opinion is. What we have to negotiate is the legislature, not the Government. Not to do so would be enormously irresponsible because it would lead President Aragonès to tensions and instability that neither he nor the citizens deserve. What we offer ERC is absolute loyalty in the agreements we build.

Could Junts support the PSOE and Unidas Podemos in Parliament in favour of this strategic unity?

— Sure. If there is an agreement, all parties will find ourselves doing something that we would not do without an agreement. What cannot happen is that we face the next legislature without resolving this, because then we would have a mess again.

Should the CUP join the Government?

— This is for the CUP to decide. We would like it to form part of a pro-independence majority because it can also form part of the solution to this conflict.

They put on the table the holding of a referendum in 2025. Do you agree?

— We have already held referendums. We have to see what viability it has, the capacity to do it, the consequences. It is very positive that the CUP contributes its proposal to this strategic view of the legislature. What we pro-independence parties with responsibilities in the Parliament have to do is to sit around a table and build a joint strategy.

The CUP is also calling for the Generalitat to stop bringing cases against demonstrators.

— This is an area that is being studied. We are looking at how it can be done in those circumstances where there have clearly been no violent acts of physical aggression against civil servants or public servants.

What role should Laura Borràs have in the future Government?

— Whatever role she wants to have. But the issue regarding names will be part of the second moment. What we need now is to reach an agreement and guarantee four years of a Government and a solid majority. That independence can appear with a plural but coordinated voice to speak to the people of Catalonia and to question the Spanish government and the European institutions.

Will you defend the election of Josep Maria Argimon as Minister of Health?

— Does anyone have a more powerful name than Dr. Josep Maria Argimon to lead the health policies of our country?

Do you consider him to be more powerful than that of Minister Vergés?

— No, I'm posing the question, I don't want to make assessments. I said: does anyone have it? If anyone has it, let them put it on the table.

Will JxCat be willing to reactivate the dialogue table even if there is no mediator?

— We will have to talk. We believe that it continues to be a helpful proposal. JxCat has always said that it is for dialogue and negotiation, but not for the use of dialogue as a partisan calculation. The balance of this year of supposed dialogue has shown that all this was just smoke and mirrors, because the Spanish government has not believed in dialogue. We need method, we need objectives and we need discretion.

Do you maintain dialogue with the Spanish government?

— Yes, there is dialogue with senior members of the Spanish government.

And do they make you be optimistic about the dialogue?

— At the moment I don't have enough elements for optimism.

Would you be willing to form a government with the comuns?

— We are ready for a pro-independence government, with a pro-independence programme and agreed by pro-independence groups. If the comuns want to join...