Arturo Puente/Pau Rodríguez 17 May 2020
The ERC leader, Pere Aragonès, and the general secretary of JxCat, Jordi Sanchez, during the joint EFE / Quique García appearance
The agreement includes a good part of the measures previously agreed with the CUP, although it softens the social turn in Health matters or in terms of the management of European funds
- Interior and Education for ERC and the economic vice-presidency and Health for Junts: this is how the distribution of portfolios in the new Govern
The agreement reached between ERC and Junts, 46 pages and four blocks, contemplates both the program that the Government will deploy throughout the next legislature, as well as the coordination and control bodies of the coalition, as well as the independence strategy. This last question had been one of the main obstacles to understanding between the two formations, which have different opinions about the next steps to be taken on the sovereign agenda. Finally, the wording is not very precise and makes a synthesis between both points of view, with an explicit commitment to prioritize “with loyalty” the dialogue table with the Spanish Government, but also adding the commitment to prepare for a “new democratic attack” against the State. based on “confrontation”.
“We share that only a referendum of self-determination agreed with Spain can replace the political mandate of the referendum of October 1 to work to make the Catalan Republic real,” states the document, which adds another point underlining the consensus of the independence movement for “the commitment to dialogue and political negotiation to resolve the existing political conflict as well as the need for a civic and peaceful confrontation to force the State to assume the reality that has been denied until now. “
Unlike the pact reached with the CUP, in the agreement with Junts there are no temporal references to the margin that is intended to be given to the dialogue table, which with the anti-capitalists was two years. Neither does the question of trust to which Aragonès committed himself appear explicitly, although the Republican has assured at a press conference that the commitments reached with the CUP remain intact. In the legislative agreement known this Monday, the formations also agree on a series of steps to strengthen the dialogue table with the Government, such as involving the Parliament through a commission or forming a National Agreement for Self-determination and Amnesty.
Regarding the strategic direction, another of the great battles they have had during the negotiation, the document is even more ambiguous. Although on the one hand it agrees to create an organism of five, where ERC, Junts, CUP, Òmnium and ANC are, on which it places the task of “coordination, consensus and direction”, on the other hand it does not renounce to place it under the umbrella of the Council for the Republic once this body is reformulated. The final draft remains in no man’s land and leaves open to interpretation how it will look and what that body will do in the future.
Also regarding the coordination of parliamentary groups in Congress, another of the issues that interested Junts, the agreed draft is unclear. Although it underlines unity of action as an aspiration, the final text only commits itself to “promoting, from consensus, a unity of action in the various political institutions (Parliament, Courts, European Parliament and local governments) in proposals of a national and linked to internationalization aimed at achieving the Catalan Republic “.
This body of “coordination, consensus and direction” is proposed for the whole of the independence movement and without direct connection with the Government. But the agreement also makes explicit other monitoring and coordination mechanisms of the coalition. Specifically, there are four: one specific for the Executive and another for the parliamentary groups, both on a weekly basis, a third that functions as a flexible communication coordination team and, finally, a body to monitor the agreement, which meets each fifteen days and that it can generate sectorial spaces and monitor the degree of fulfillment of the agreed program as a whole.
Program by departments
The Government’s agenda that emerges from the 46 pages of agreement make up a large part of what was previously agreed between ERC and the CUP, and that the anti-capitalists have demanded that it not be touched if Aragonès wants to be invested. Among the main measures planned are an additional 5,000 million euros increase for health in five years –with the aim of reaching 25% of the sectorial budget in Primary Care–, “consolidating” the Catalan Institute of Finance as a public bank, starting the Universal Basic Income pilot plan, add 500 homes per year through the trial and error option and “defend” the current law that regulates rental price limits.
In police matters, which tends to put great stress on the independentists, the agreement includes a review of the public security model, as well as the commitment that the Generalitat participate in particular accusations against activists. What does not appear is the reference to the withdrawal of the foam projectiles pending the publication of its protocol, –as agreed with the CUP–. Interior spread a text that was not the entire one, as revealed by this newspaper.
Regarding the management of Next Generation funds, it is specified that they favor “public and community” participation. In tax matters, it includes the fight against fraud, working for a “fair tax system” –without further specifications– and promoting the Tax Agency of Catalonia.
The agreement also commits to the approval of a Territorial Plan for Renewable Energies (PLATER), which should end local disputes over wind and photovoltaic energy projects, as well as a new Energy Transition Law. In this chapter, the agreement does not include any mention of the commitment to public water management or the implementation of a public energy company, both included in the CUP document, although from the words of Aragonès this Monday this should not mean that they have declined .
To verify the diligence in the fulfillment of the measures, one of them, pandemic management, can be seen immediately. The pact includes hiring 3,700 professionals for the Vaccination Plan, a reinforcement that until now the health authorities had described as unfeasible due to the lack of nursing professionals in Catalonia. In this area, another highly developed point in the agreement with the anti-capitalists, the advance in public management that entails the internalization of services such as telephone 061 or health transport, become “preserving the pre-eminence of public management”, without refer to both services.