State of the nation debate

JxCat once again dissociates itself from dialogue table: "We will only sit down at a real negotiation process"

Sánchez defends negotiation with the Generalitat and trusts "tangible and concrete results" will come "soon"

2 min
The spokeswoman for Juntos al Congreso , Míriam Nogueras, during the general policy debate in Congress

MadridThis Friday the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, and the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, will meet, and a new date has to be set for the negotiation table to meet again. The negotiation with the State has been revived after the Catalangate crisis, but the strategy continues without satisfying one of the parties in the Catalan coalition government, Together for Catalonia (JxCat). Its spokeswoman in the Spanish parliament, Míriam Nogueras, has made this clear again this Wednesday in the debate on the state of the nation, again showing her opposition and attacking the Spanish government and JxCat's coalition partner, Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC). She reproached ERC for having "moved away" from the goal of independence after having opened the dialogue with the State, and accused the Spanish government of not wanting to open a real dialogue and trying to "make a fool" of the independence movement. "JxCat will only sit down at a real negotiation process," Nogueras warned.

"A tax reform is not urgent, Mr. Rufián, what is urgent is the independence of Catalonia", the JxCat spokesperson told ERC spokesperson Gabriel Rufián, at the beginning of her speech. And at this point, she also criticised the "partial, conditional and reviewable" pardons the Spanish government granted to political prisoners a year ago. For Nogueras, the measure of grace "did not serve" the "process of liberation of our nation". In fact, she has criticised the Spanish government for not advancing in the de-judicialisation of the Catalan conflict because the State Attorney's Office is still involved in the legal cases against the independence movement. "It is incomprehensible that part of the independence movement makes us believe that they [referring to the Spanish government] are different from them [referring to the triple right]," she concluded, in another attack on ERC.

PDECat deputy Ferran Bel, on the other hand, has defended the negotiating table, but demanded "results" and that it does not remain a "photo opportunity". The Spanish president took advantage of Bel's words to value the negotiation with the Generalitat and hopes that "soon" the dialogue table will give "concrete and tangible results". For this reason, Sánchez has again urged JxCat to sit at the negotiating table. The Spanish government believes that JxCat not being present shows that they have remained "frozen" in 2017. "Hopefully you will come out of the freezer and move from extremist positions to more pragmatic positions to resolve the conflict," the Spanish president said. Nogueras, in turn, replied that it is Sánchesz who is "in the freezer" because "he continues to not give answers to Catalonia". "Are you willing to sit down to start a real process of negotiation on independence or will you continue to bury your head in the sand?", Nogueras asked him.

Investment figures in Catalonia

Both Nogueras and Bel have taken advantage of the occasion to reproach the Spanish government for the lack of execution of budgeted state investments in Catalonia. The PDECat MP reminded him that the financing system has been out of date since 2014, and JxCat spokeswoman put on the table the fact that Catalans pay "€52bn in taxes" but the Generalitat manages a budget of "€30bn". Sánchez, on the other hand, shelled out a battery of figures to demonstrate the Spanish government's "effort" to reverse the deficit in investments and has assured that the coalition executive has invested 37.6% more than Mariano Rajoy's government. Sánchez pledged to increase the "investment pace" by 2022.