Politics 11/05/2021

Total blockage in ERC-JxCat negotiations brings Catalonia closer to repeat elections

ERC says it will only negotiate a solo government and JxCat retorts it will not invest Aragonès

2 min
Jordi Sànchez and Pere Aragonès talking, in an archive image.
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BarcelonaTotal blockage in negotiations between ERC and JxCat for the investiture. This Tuesday the two negotiating teams have met for the first time since Esquerra announced last Saturday that, in the absence of an agreement, it would no longer seek a coalition government with Junts and would try to form a solo government. The meeting only confirmed that positions are more opposed than ever. ERC has told JxCat that it will not negotiate anything other than a solo government, and JxCat has replied that in no case will they facilitate the investiture of Pere Aragonès if the idea of a coalition government is not brought back. Catalonia is closer to a repeat election.

The meeting, which lasted an hour and a half, was held online with Sergi Sabrià, Marta Vilalta and Josep Maria Jové (ERC) on one side of the table, and with at least Jordi Sànchez and Josep Rius on the other (JxCat). No one has changed the approaches they had expressed in public in recent days and, as expected, the rupture has been confirmed. How did the meeting go? Republican sources explain that they have formalised the "solo government approach". JxCat replied they would not offer any support Pere Aragonès in this case. ERC has expressed its perplexity because, it argues, Sànchez did contemplate the possibility of a minority ERC government in an interview with La Vanguardia on April 4. In addition, the same ERC sources assure that Sànchez transmitted the same thing to them in a meeting three days later. "And now they are backing out," they lament.

In a statement, JxCat insisted on resuming talks on the coalition government, setting aside the solo government approach of the executive alone that Pere Aragonès made on Saturday. "The best way to avoid elections is to recover the negotiations to achieve a legislature agreement," they have expressed, adding that they want to "implement the electoral mandate that emerges" from the 50% of pro-independence votes. Party sources consulted by the ARA added that a confidence and supply agreement for an ERC minority government was off the cards, insisting that the only option they are considering is being part of government.

The role of the entities

On the other hand, sovereignist entities ANC and Òmnium have stepped into the limelight. One of the main obstacle in talks between ERC and JxCat is down to the responsibilities of the organ which should coordinate the Independence bid, the Consell per la República, of which both Òmnium and ANC are members. This Wednesday the president of Òmnium, Jordi Cuixart, will be in La Farga de L'Hospitalet to expose the civil society's future challenges, the second part of the first act that the entity did in the Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau. They hoped to give tasks to the future government, although it is now expected that more will be said on the state of the negotiations for a new government. Òmnium was a cornerstone of the campaign to reach 50% of the votes in favour of an independent republic, together with ANC, which this Tuesday held a committee meeting to address the situation. Elisenda Paluzie, president of the organisation, is also expected to speak about the negotiations on Wednesday morning.