Isabel García Pagán 11/10/2020
Image: Ana Jiménez
MªÀngels Chacón was dismissed as Minister of Business a month ago in the midst of a struggle between Junts and PDECat and now decides to run as PDECat candidate for the February elections. Chacón defends an independence project but rejects Carles Puigdemont’s strategy of confrontation. She wants a credible and realistic roadmap.
M.ª Àngels Chacón: “I want to be the PDECat candidate for a free country but not at any price”. The former Regional Minister of Business defends an independence project, although she rejects the confrontational strategy
“They asked me if it would yield to Junts, each one can draw their conclusions”
How do you see your successor at the Regional Ministry?
I wish him the best of success, his success will also be that of the country. But if one wants to do things one will need resources. One has to work with 0.5% of the Generalitat’s budget. That is 232 million for the Business Ministry, which includes commerce, tourism, energy, industry, research, universities …
In a few days, Minister Tremosa has made noise.
He does what he thinks he has to do.
Do you feel a victim of a purge for not yielding to Junts?
Out of respect for the institution, and being very clear that regional ministers are appointed and the president is removed, I assume that it was a decision of President Torra. Let each draw their conclusions. Yes it is true that I was asked days before what my political position was.
Was the decision of Torra or Carles Puigdemont?
President Torra communicated it to me.
Have you spoken with Puigdemont?
We wrote to each other a few days before.
Did they offer you to joint Junts individually?
I have never been pressed. They did invite me to go.
Why are you staying at PDECat while the JxCat ministers leave?
I stay for consistency. The party is committed to the independence ideology but also to a country model that I defend. I don’t see any reason to leave.
Was the rupture of the post-convergent space avoidable?
Surely. Now what we have to do is manage realities. There are nuances that separate us and that is why we will go into two lists.
Does PDECat have to criticize itself or does it feel like a victim?
We can all be self-critical. It is indisputable that PDECat has been willing to integrate and has been generous. With Junts pel Sí, and also 21-D with JxCat and the independents. Now it has only been asked about the party. It can be added but from mutual recognition. Any of the formulas that go through the disappearance of the party, by sheer logic, could not be accepted.
Have you felt belittled?
We have not wanted the country model project that we represent to die.
What electoral possibilities does PDECat have without Junts?
We will work to make them the best.
Will you not add any other party from the post-convergent disintegration?
We will go alone.
And do you want to be the candidate?
Yes. The primary process has started and I have decided to run.
Are you ready to compete with Puigdemont?
I’m not showing up to compete with him. I do it for consistency, commitment and awareness. I belong to a party that has its own project and I am committed to Catalonia. I want a free country but not just any country or at any price.
What do you think you can contribute with?
We have to be able to convey that being an independentist is not at odds with having a model for the country and an ideology. We have shown that we are capable of adding up but exceptionality, when it is prolonged in time, demands from us to be able to manage and draw a country.
What is the PDECat roadmap?
It has to be credible and realistic. Without forgetting the goal of independence we have to relocate the GPS and manage reality. We will not stop the denunciation of the repression or normalize what is not normal in democracy, but confrontation by system, no. It is necessary to seek a referendum with international recognition and avoid frustrations.
Will the PDECat count in this objective 50% of the pro-independence vote?
We will work to achieve it but what we have to ask ourselves is what we want to do with this 51%, when and with whom we want to do it. We must go from abstraction to concreteness and now there is no strategic unity in the world of independence. It must be recovered.
Will they participate in meetings of parties and entities or of the Consell per la República?
We will be where we work for a common strategy but defending very clearly what we do, how and when. You have to be honest and realistic. It takes courage. In the Spanish state to recognize that it has a problem that must be resolved politically, and in Catalonia to explain where we want to go from independence.
The realization for the PDECat is that the next legislature is not the referendum, nor a DUI?
It is not. This legislature has to serve to strengthen the country. This country has expressed support for self-determination, the end of repression and that it is not monarchical, but we need to speak clearly and concretely.
With 51% of the vote, what would you do?
We will not make a unilateral declaration of independence. The rest will be done. We cannot confront or paralyze the country or ask officials to take responsibility in this conflict.
Junts does ask for it.
We do not.
Would you support Junts and ERC to form a government if they need you?
We will support proposals, not parties. Do we have to renounce initiatives that benefit the self-employed if they come from the Spanish Government, whoever governs? No. We will work on this balance. We will be consistent.
Don’t you aspire to be within the Government?
We do not close ourselves to anything. We will see. We have differences on the CUP or ERC country model. We want to be independent but if our economy suffers, it is not the country we want.
And do you rule out adding the votes to an alternative majority?
We do not rule out anything. I’m just saying that is enough to blur the political project. Until now the sum of pro-independence proposals forgot the program. We want to add but contributing with country proposals.
What amendments to the totality would you present in things that this Government has done?
Obviously to the modification of the inheritance tax or to the regulation of the rent. Here we start from a lot of demagogy and little analysis. Nor have we been able to explain everything that was done. The Government has had many determining factors, we came from 155, repression, the pandemic …, but ideological positions have also been abandoned.
Has the activist profile of the president made it difficult to explain the work done?
He has his convictions but I have never felt pressure. When I entered the Government, I asked both President Torra and President Puigdemont what was expected of us and they said ‘govern’.
And has you been able to govern?
In Business there has been a condition that has been the budget allocation.
This is the responsibility of Vice President Pere Aragonès.
It is everyone’s responsibility. It is not a matter of choosing between social benefits or economic promotion. Catalonia has limited financial capacity but the most important thing is how the funds are distributed. And between nothing and everything there is the way.
Is the 3% judicial process a hindrance to the future of PDECat?
I was not and I am not part of this inheritance. If the 3% case is a slab that prevents us from talking about proposals, I do not admit it. I don’t recognize myself in it. I have been associated with the party for 4 years and what happened before surely has more links with people who are now in Junts than with me.