Politics 09/06/2021

Sànchez accuses Junqueras of "tutoring" Aragonès and affirms that no peaceful way forward can be renounced

The secretary general of Junts responds to the ERC leader that 1-O Catalan independence bid was not a "mistake" and reproaches him for "twists" in the script

3 min
Pere Aragonès and Jordi Sànchez at the presentation of the government agreement.

BarcelonaThe article by Oriol Junqueras published yesterday in the ARA in which he endorsed the pardons and questioned the unilateral path has opened an intense debate within the pro-independence movement. Not only the CUP has replied to the leader of Esquerra that "one cannot renounce" disobeying the state, but the secretary general of Junts, Jordi Sànchez, has also amended Junqueras' approach in an article published this Tuesday in the ARA. He responds with three ideas: that Junqueras' letter is a "tutelage" of the president, Pere Aragonès, because it limits his "capacity for action" - alluding to the possibility of undertaking unilateralism -; that the Catalan independence bid on 1 October was not a "mistake" nor an "illegitimate" act, and that the commitment to "negotiation and agreement" does not have to entail the "renunciation of other democratic and peaceful ways".

"The letter signed by Junqueras outlines a game space that limits the president's capacity for action in the leadership that is expected of him. It is not good for the institution of the Generalitat that an ex-vice president wants to tutor the current president but in any case it must be made clear that a personal decision expressed in a letter does not have the strength to modify the legislative agreement between ERC and Junts", says Jordi Sànchez, recalling that the legislative agreement between the two parties includes proposing amnesty and self-determination to the Spanish government and "redesigning the best strategy" to face a "new democratic attack" if the "dialogue becomes sterile".

The accusation of guardianship is a poisoned dart that the Junts' leader is throwing back at Esquerra after the three months of agonising negotiations for the investiture. During the talks, one of the accusations of the republicans was the will of former president Carles Puigdemont to control Aragonès and establish the pro-independence strategy from Waterloo. An approach that Junts have always denied and which they now attribute to Junqueras for having set his political framework in Monday's letter.

Criticism over Esquerra's "turnabout"

In the letter that the ERC leader made public, he reached out to those who felt "excluded" from October 1st, a statement that Sànchez also responds to: "Certainly, we have to work to incorporate this sector of the citizenry to a democratic solution, but we cannot be trapped in the imaginary that only when 100% of the population considers it legitimate the exercise of self-determination can be given [...]. Therefore, all hands are outstretched, but without expecting unanimity that is impossible in open societies like the Catalan one".

He notes that the "pressure to get out of prison is great" - alluding to pardons - but adds that it is necessary to "preserve what politically explains what independence is today", referring to the 2017 referendum for Catalan independence.

Jordi Sànchez takes advantage of the letter to criticise Esquerra for the "turnabout" that he claims it has taken over the last three years. He believes that all strategies - dialogue and confrontation - are compatible, to the point that heconsiders that the referendum of 1 October was "conceived more to force the Spanish government to open a path of dialogue to achieve an agreed referendum" than to "effectively proclaim independence" - despite the approval of the disconnection laws in Parliament. In this sense, Sànchez accuses the Republicans of starring in "script twists and some statements that de facto become a radical revision of essential aspects of the recent past of independence".

In fact, he blames them for "not knowing how to withstand the pressure" of the State from October 16, 2017 - when they imprisoned him and Jordi Cuixart - and "pushing the path of mediation and the desired dialogue over the precipice, wielding 155 silver coins". The secretary general of Junts refers to the days before the declaration of independence in 2017, when the then president, Carles Puigdemont, debated internally in the Government whether to hold elections or take the proclamation of the Republic to Parliament. Once Puigdemont had decided to call elections, the leader of Esquerra, Gabriel Rufián, tweeted "155 silver coins", a statement that was understood as an accusation of traitor towards the former head of the executive. Finally, on 27 October 2017, independence was proclaimed in the chamber and was not applied.