Joan Tapia. 3/4/2021
President of the Editorial Committee of El Periódico
The candidate for the presidency of the Generalitat for ERC, Pere Aragonès, during his intervention in the act of celebration of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the republican party /
ERC MARC PUIG
Puigdemont subjects Aragonès to a long ‘via crucis’ because he believes that the Republicans will not dare to make a transversal option
The elections were on 14-F and JxCat has already prevented the investiture of Pere Aragonès, ERC candidate, twice. Now they say that there may be a pact for Sant Jordi, more than two months after 14-F. The conclusions are clear: One, if they need two months to form a Government, the independence challenge smells like wet gunpowder. Two, if ERC, JxCat and the CUPs reach an agreement in the end, the Government will be weak and divided. Three, ERC has done nothing for the PSC to allow the investiture because it is a prisoner of the pro-independence bid.
What separates JxCat and ERC? First, the enmity of their leaders, Puigdemont and Junqueras, which has a lot to do with the role of both when the unilateral declaration of 2017. Neither of them wanted to go that far -Puigdemont considered calling elections-, but both decided to blame the other for “the betrayal” (no DUI). And in the end they did what they knew would end badly, which led one to exile and the other to jail. And both proclaim themselves the most consistent and faithful to independence.
Leader’s fight aside, ERC believes today that independence needs more support than the half of the citizens who collect all the polls and electoral results. More so when 48% or 51% of the 2017 and 2021 elections imply support (counting abstentions) of 33% and 27% of the electorate. ERC thus believes that today unilateralism would be another failure and that it is necessary to negotiate with the State, especially when Madrid is not governed by the PP but a coalition without a majority of the PSOE and Podemos.
On the contrary, Puigdemont believes that negotiation is impossible because the State will not admit the referendum on self-determination (he is right) and that an “intelligent confrontation” with Spain must be practiced that discredits it more in Catalonia, that exacerbates the Spanish crisis and that build international support against repression. In paper all opinions are allowed, but Spain is not sinking (despite the crisis) and is in the EU. And what Europe least wants is to question one of its states, which is the fourth largest economy in the euro. JxCat and ERC completely disagree on the strategy, but both proclaim – unlike the PNV – that independence is possible in a short time term. And they say it because a substantial part of their constituents not only believe it, but they do not want to be deceived. Like children who do not want to know that the Kings are the parents.
That is why ERC is emotionally incapable of breaking the dream of 2017 and launch a transversal pact. And Puigdemont, who knows it, dresses as the guardian of the 1-O referendum and blackmails them. In addition, he knows that every government in Spain – Spanish nationalism weighs – it is difficult for a dispassionate treatment of the conflict. And he launches tricks against ERC when he pacts with the PSOE.
The independence movement wants (perhaps it cannot) to admit that democracy only takes shape in respect for the rule of law
This is also why ERC does not dare to stand up and negotiate with the commons and the PSC, when the PNV does so with the Basque PSOE (and against Bildu). So ERC flees from reality. It was seen in the debate with Illa. Aragonès does not admit that an exclusive government of the independence movement divides Catalonia in two and loses strength to demand the maximum respect for self-government (unlike the PNV).