Junts warns that if ERC prefers to govern with the CUP they will facilitate it and stay in the opposition

ERC points out that no one will tell them "what they have to vote for in Madrid"

4 min
The general secretary of Juntos, Jordi Sànchez, and the president of ERC, Pere Aragonès, in an archive image

BarcelonaJunts shakes the negotiations with ERC and warns that if the republicans prefer to govern with the CUP and the comuns, they will not be an obstacle: "We will vote for them if this is what they choose" were the words of the secretary general of JxCat, Jordi Sànchez, in an interview in La Vanguardia. That is to say, they are open to facilitate the investiture of Pere Aragonès and move to the opposition. Sources of Junts point out that raising this possibility is a direct reaction to the last declarations of ERC in the sense that the pact with the CUP "will not be touched". This is how Republican MPs Sergi Sabrià and Marta Vilalta protected it in statements to Efe and Europa Press, and this forcefulness has created discomfort in the ranks of the party of Carles Puigdemont. The vice-president of Junts, Elsa Artadi, affirms in an interview in the ARA that the agreement of the CUP and ERC does not "question" them. She defines as "nuclear" for her party elements such as public-private collaboration, when the pact of the Republicans with the anti-system is committed to changing semi-private schools to public ones, or creating public energy. This Sunday Vilalta has insisted on the fact that the agreement with the cupaires is untouchable: "The CUP does not have to fear anything, it is an agreement and agreements are fulfilled".

However, in the face of an agreement that Junts does not accept and that the CUP -they assured yesterday that if a single comma was touched they would hold a new internal debate- and ERC want to protect, sources from Puigdemont's party add that the republicans are forcing them to present an ultimatum: either Junts or the CUP. For this same reason, considering that Esquerra has already agreed on a government program with the cupaires, Junts concludes that if they prefer to govern with them, they will step aside, they will facilitate the investiture of Aragonès and will remain in the opposition. Even so, the same sources indicate that the priority continues being to form a coalition with the republicans and that the negotiation is succesful. They insist, however, that it is ERC that has to decide whether to leave the agreement with the CUP in order to reach its own agreement with JxCat, or whether to remain "hands off" and thus limit talks with Puigdemont's party. "It makes no sense to think that we can govern jointly and that one of the parties makes bilateral agreements with third parties", Artadi said.

This discomfort comes from long before the pact with the CUP, specifically from the day after the elections. "They mistreated us quite a lot after 14-F. They insisted on the concept of a left-wing government, on the broad road. They have thus taken time away from the negotiation with Junts", criticizes Jordi Sànchez this Sunday. In line with the disagreements of recent weeks, in Junts they are still upset because ERC began to negotiate with the CUP and from there came out an agreement that they intend to impose on them. In addition, Artadi points out that Junts asked to participate in the configuration of this pact and they were not allowed to do so. Additionally, according to Sànchez, several sectors of ERC that advocate leaving Junts out of the Government. "These are the ones that tutelage Aragonès", says the secretary general of Junts, who points to the former Republican deputy in Parliament Joan Tardà and the current leader of ERC in the lower house, Gabriel Rufián, as "activists" who are against repeating coalition with JxCat and are betting on a government with the comuns and the CUP.

Negotiations advance amid reproaches

Although Sànchez has been open to staying out of the Government, he has acknowledged that the agreement with ERC is not far away. The two parties report that these days they are exchanging documents and continue to work. However, Artadi warns that they have not yet discussed the structure of the new administration or the distribution of portfolios. However, the latest steps of the parties indicate that the initial blockage of the Consell per la República has been overcome, although it is not known what the definitive understanding is.

The stumbling blocks, according to statements by the two parties, are now the strategy in Madrid and the government programme. While the latter is evidenced by the threat of Junts to leave the Government because they do not buy the programmatic agreement with the CUP, the coordination in Parliament also indicates that the positions are far apart. Artadi admits that "sectoral issues" can be left out of the joint strategy in Parliament, but says that "investing or propping up" the government of Pedro Sánchez does have to enter into the unitary coordination.

Torra: "We continue fighting each other"

The former president of the Generalitat Quim Torra has also commented this Sunday on the state of the negotiations in an interview with El Punt Avui. The former president has opted to seek a three-sided agreement between ERC, Junts and the CUP, and said he was "surprised" that the meetings were always "bilateral", referring to the Republicans and the Cupaires. In fact, Torra considers it urgent that there be a clear road map and a three-way government based on a "stable" agreement. "It's not just a matter of agreeing on certain items, but that it is fulfilled and does not just blow up from one day to the next". Even so, Torra is not optimistic about future relations between the pro-independence forces: "The fact that we have not managed to reach an investiture means that we are still fighting each other", he said. "We have been negotiating for three months now, and I sincerely believe that the pro-independence parties are putting their credibility on the line".