Politics 12/03/2021

Negotiations over Parliamentary Bureau relations between JxCat and CUP in tatters

The trust between ERC and En Comú also cracks after the disagreement over one of the secretariats

3 min
Sabater, during the vote of the Parliament's bureau

BarcelonaThe negotiations of the last few weeks have not been quick or easy and have damaged the relations between several groups of the chamber. The most obvious is between JxCat and CUP, who have competed to obtain the speakership, but also between ERC and En Comú, who hoped to have representation on the Bureau. In full negotiations to form a government and with the CUP as an essential actor to ensure the investiture of ERC's candidate, Pere Aragonès, the rift between JxCat and CUP can have a greater impact on the formation of a new government, as En Comú had already been excluded from the latest round of talks.

CUP has entered the Parliamentary Bureau for the first time, thanks to ERC and JxCat's votes. However, the anti-capitalists are not satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations. Not only have they not achieved their goal, which, as advanced by ARA, was to obtain the speakership, but neither has progress been made in defining a new pro-independence and left-wing strategy. In a communiqué sent to the militancy, to which ARA has had access, the cupaires say that "the legislature does not start off on the right foot" and criticise JxCat for taking the situation "to the limit". They warn, moreover, that there is a risk of stopping "possible strategic agreements on independence". "We think it is reckless to start the legislature without the will to agree and prioritising party interests over those of the country," they add.

The leadership of the anti-capitalist formation reiterates that it had offered to preside over the Parliament and attributes to the "exchange of seats" the final composition of the bureau that has relegated them to have only a secretariat. "Out of responsibility we have not entered a game of taking the situation to the limit as Junts has done, with the risk that the speakership would end up in the hands of the PSC, that is, in the hands of the Constitutional Court and big business", they add, justifying their step aside in the struggle to hold the speakership.

Despite the reproaches, the CUP stresses that it will not leave the negotiating table and will continue "working" to reach a government agreement to facilitate the investiture of the head of the ERC list, Pere Aragonès. "We want to give answers with a legislature in which we generate the necessary conditions to exercise self-determination, implement an immediate social rescue and implement a profound change of the socio-economic model," they emphasise in the statement.

Rift between ERC and the commons

But the rift between JxCat and the CUP is not the only one that has opened as a result of the negotiations for the constitution of the table of the Parliament. The complicity between ERC and the commons has also suffered after the talks between the two groups to give En Comú a seat on the bureau have led to nothing. The same Albiach has accused ERC of not wanting to break with JxCat and has warned that while the pact between the two pro-independence parties continues, they will be in opposition. That is to say, they will not participate, today, in any agreement that involves propping up a coalition government with JxCat. Thus, they once again discard the broad church that ERC has sought.

"We had an alternative majority at the table and in the Catalan government, we offered it and ERC has gone back to JxCat. ERC's broad church was fundamentally Borràs's parish," Albiach criticised at a press conference in Parliament. Despite the appeal to JxCat, the truth is that the formation of Laura Borràs was not decisive for En Comú to gain a seat on the Bureau: they simply needed ERC to give up theirs. And ERC has not done so. First they have made sure they got the first vice-presidency with the votes of JxCat and the CUP and then they have used part of their votes to cede one seat to the CUP and keep another.

The contacts with En Comú had been extended until Thursday afternoon directly involved sources consulted by ARA explained that ERC had been predisposed to incorporate En Comú to the bureau (the pro-independence majority was already guaranteed). "En Comú would have to stop supporting the PSC," said ERC spokeswoman Marta Vilalta, from the lectern of the Catalan chamber.

In fact, Vilalta has claimed that En Comú have not "wanted to reach certain commitments" to have a place at the table. These include voting in favour of an amnesty law in the Spanish congress, somthing that En Comú denies. In En Comú's versions, they were asked to vote in Pere Aragonès's government and agree to the budget. This, they say, will be unacceptable as long as JxCat is part of the equation.

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