Economy Minister Jaume Giró (l), Vice President Jordi Puigneró (c) and President Pere Aragonès at the Consell Executiu last Tuesday Marta Pérez (EFE)
The second year of the Aragonès era at the helm of the Catalan executive begins with a question mark. Is the internal change in Junts noticed in the Consell Executiu configuration? Carles Puigdemont’s party will take a new direction in two weeks, in which the most pioneering wing around Laura Borràs gains weight. Several voices from this formation deny that the new balance of power will be transferred to the government. In the Republican leadership, they rule out a government crisis as a shock, at least in the ministries corresponding to them, but they do not lose sight of the inner workings of their partner.
The great success of the first year of the legislature, which they defend against the Republican branch of government, was what they call “defending institutionality”. After the end of Quim Torra’s mandate, accelerated by his disqualification for disobedience and the intervention of Aragonès himself, they defend in the ERC that his arrival roused the Catalan government from its lethargy. That start was not easy, however, due to the lengthy negotiations with junts that pitted possible and defenders of a repeat of 14-F. Central to this pact was a long list of control bodies designed to ensure the smooth running of relations between the partners and which, for example, now raises doubts given the certain bicephaly that can be seen between the Speaker of Parliament and Jordi Turull at the head of together
Both in the ERC and in the representatives of the junts in the executive, they affirm that despite the continuation of the partisan confrontation, the level of internal noise has “decreased” and the government is concentrating on governing for “all of Catalonia”, the the President draws in his speeches. That will be the focus of the tally that Aragonès himself will give tomorrow at a press conference to coincide with the 365 days of his inauguration. The focus is on the progress made in the four revolutions that he outlined in his mandate, such as the push for renewable energies or the commitment to feminising the Mosso body.
The Republicans defend that the lack of noise contributed to Patrícia Plaja taking over as speaker. They believe this prevents the Catalan government from opening up at the weekly press conference on the channel (and live) every Tuesday. But the fact that the journalist is gaining more and more experience in avoiding eggplant does not mean that it does not exist. There are several examples: the confrontation at the dialogue table, the pact to respond to the verdict of 25% of Castilians or the reform of El Prat Airport.
So far, in junts, the commitment to social vergence in the Provincial Council of Barcelona and other municipalities and county councils (on many occasions at the expense of Republicans) has been able to coexist in constant contradiction, but internal change at the moment suggests that the voices that oppose them will become have more speakers. A week ago, on local radio station Badalona, the future organization secretary of the formation, David Torrents, accepted that the pact that had allowed Xavier García Albiol to be ousted and replaced as mayor by socialist Rubén Guijarro would be broken by the new address could .
This kind of political earthquake is very likely to affect Catalan politics. The legislature also looks at the time of the courts and the budgets. The legal situation of Borràs, for which the ERC does not yet have a position in Parliament, is also worrying. And a possible disqualification of Roger Torrent (whose trial and that of the rest of the pro-independence parliamentary table in the last legislature will take place in July) implies a change in cabinet. At ERC, he doesn’t have a government crisis in his plans. They believe it’s time to show government work, despite the fact that “breaking the inertia” – another of their contributions, they say – can lead to attrition. The figure of Josep Gonzàlez-Cambray, head of the education department, is shielded. “We suffer at school because we change,” these voices defend.
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But the next flying target is the 2023 budget, the mechanism for which will be activated in July with the applications from the departments. The government’s ERC wing believes the extension will not be used. They insist the preferred partner will once again be the CUP, with whom relations are cold and who continue to insist on the confidence motion Republicans no longer see after saying no to checking accounts. The PSC, which has been approached to renew the stalled charges, is not on the list of doors to knock on. The variable geometry has few options: only the usual ones remain.
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