Politics 15/06/2021

Puigneró refuses to attend the dinner with the king

The Government had picked him to be present at the event

2 min
Vice-president Puigneró, president Aragonès and councillor Vilagrà this Wednesday.

BarcelonaIn the end, the vice-president of the Catalan Government Jordi Puigneró has decided that he will not attend the dinner organised by the Cercle d'Economia in Barcelona on Wednesday at which the king will also be present. The final decision has caused surprise because the spokeswoman of the Government, Patrícia Plaja, had announced just this Tuesday at noon that Puigneró had been picked to go to the appointment in representation of the Government.

What happened? This afternoon, four hours after the announcement made by Plaja, sources of the department of the Vice-presidency have communicated that in the end Puigneró has declined to attend the dinner and has proposed that, "if appropriate", they delegate the representation of Generalitat "to other members of the Government". Thus, Puigneró will instead attend the Night of Telecommunications and Informatics, "as planned and committed". This is the first episode of manifest lack of coordination in this term between the two government partners, JxCat and ERC.

The initial decision to send a representative of the Government to the event had a certain transcendence since the Catalan Government, since 2018, had decided not to attend events where the monarch was present. Plaja has explained the change of criteria assuring that the Government had decided that tomorrow would be different. Thus, they considered that it was "important" to be present at the event and that the fact that Felipe VI would also be there would not "condition" the Catalan government's attendance . Four hours later, everything has changed.

Strange moves by the government

This Tuesday was a day of strange moves at the Palau de la Generalitat. At 12.30 a press conference with spokeswoman Plaja and the vice-president Puigneró was scheduled to inform on the agreements of the meeting of the executive council. Even the Palau's staff had placed two lecterns in the press room. In the end, however, a few minutes before the appearance started, it has been announced that Puigneró would not be present due to agenda problems and one of the lecterns was removed. The absence of Puigneró has generated suspicions, since he has decided not to go to the conference where it was announced that he would be the one going to dinner with the king. Plaja, however, has avoided controversy over the non-appearance of the vice-president and has justified it by "an emergency commitment".