Discomfort in JxCat after Sànchez claims Referendum was a means to force the State to negotiate

Members of the executive publicly disagree with the secretary general

3 min
Jordi Sánchez, Laura Borràs, Elsa Artadi and Carles Puigdemont after Election Day

BarcelonaThe statements of Junts secretary general Jordi Sànchez on the 2017 referendum are still causing a stir. Former Minister Jordi Turull has denied today that the referendum was conceived more to force the State to negotiate an agreed consultation than to effectively declare independence, contrary to the former president of the ANC's claims in an article published on Tuesday by ARA. In an interview with Catalunya Ràdio, Turull has defended that it was "a referendum of self-determination" and that, as the Referendum law states, "independence had to be made effective if 'yes' won". Thus, the former Minister of the Presidency said that the Referendum was "what the referendum law says" and remarked that when it comes to making the result effective it can be done in two ways: by force or in a negotiated manner, and in this sense he has argued that if it can be done on good terms it will be better.

The former Minister joined other Junts members who have disassociated themselves from the words of Sànchez. These include vice presidents Josep Rius and Elsa Artadi; Minister of Justice Lourdes Ciuró; spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament Miriam Nogueras; deputy spokesman of Junts Francesc Dalmases, and MEP Ramon Tremosa's and former president Quim Torra's former aide Aleix Sarri. Torra himself, who does not belong to Junts, replied to Sànchez that he voted 'yes' to the 2017 referendum because Catalonia became an independent state

According to Europa Press, there are sectors of Junts that want to ask the secretary general to resign for having proposed an alternative. They claim that they are collecting signatures to force Sànchez put his post at the disposal of the party. "The secretary general's statements, saying that he thought that the referendum was not to declare the independence of Catalonia, are an insult to the people who exercised their right to vote risking their lives, an insult to the exiled, prisoners and victims of repression (many of them for demanding their freedom) and a lack of respect to Junts party members", highlights the document to which Europa Press has had access.

Other sources consulted by this newspaper affirm that the most probable thing is that the uneasiness is played out in the next national council of the party, the first one to meet since its constitution. "There is bad blood, there is an intense debate in the parliamentary group and the executive," adds another source. This meeting could take place before the holidays, probably coinciding with the anniversary of the party's constitution.

However, other sectors of the executive interpret the discomfort in another way and say that it is not a disagreement on political strategy but a question of "power". During the negotiation with Esquerra, a few leaders of Junts were left out of the talks, which Sànchez ended up leading directly with Aragonés until the coalition agreement was closed, and the same has happened with the choice of Generalitat ministers, in addition to the positions of political patronage. The general secretary decided the names that would form part of the executive council, choosing up to three independents: Jaume Giró, Victòria Alsina and Josep M. Argimon (which had already been announced by Parliament's speaker, Laura Borràs). All the ministers of the previous term except the vice president, Jordi Puigneró, were left out. Some governmental sources also reproach the maximum executive leader of the party that he wants to "control" all the positions that are named below the holders of the departments.

Turull says he maintains the "active commitment" to achieve independence despite pardons

Jordi Turull has made it clear that he does not intend to renounce his "active commitment" to achieve independence and has referred to the possibility that pardons may be reversible. "Pardons are a measure of grace, I do not know if anyone is tempted to be humiliated. Then it would not be acceptable," he argued, before making it clear that he wants to see first what conditions are given before commenting. Turull believes that this measure can come now, before the Spanish state is forced to back down, sine outside the State the situation "is not tenable".

In any case, the ex Minister has remarked that a pardon does not solve the problem but only the personal situation of the nine prisoners, and not of the exiles or the rest of the victims of reprisals. The day after his appeal reached the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, Turull has celebrated that from now on his case will be played "on neutral ground", because until now, he said, it has been subject to the impartiality of the Spanish courts.