Daniel G. Sastre,
May 28, 2021
CAROLA LÓPEZ ACN
Illa, formally declared head of the opposition, recovers Maragall’s idea to project himself as an alternative to independence
The Catalan legislature has been launched. . The pact between ERC and JxCat, after a negotiation full of ups and downs, marks the return to institutional normality after many months of interim status. The winner at the polls on February 14, Salvador Illa, has already resigned himself to the fact that the return of the PSC to the Generalitat will have to wait at least a few years, but he has proposed to reach the next elections with the possibility of not only winning in votes, but to govern.
With this objective, the Catalan socialists will activate in the coming days a shadow Government. After discussing it, they have decided that this British-inspired formula is the one that can best convey to citizens not only that they are willing to closely mark the Executive of Pere Aragonès from the first minute, but that there is a better way to manage the day by day than that of the pro-independence movement.
Sources of the party suggest that “at most in 10 days” that “alternative Government” will be launched, as they call it in the PSC. The idea is to present it on the weekend of June 5 and 6, but it could be some day before or also some day after. “The constitution of the alternative Government has to allow us to form an opposition of criticism and proposal, to reinforce the control that will be exercised in the Parliament”, they explain from the party, in reference to the plenary sessions that are held every 15 days in the Catalan Chamber .
These days, the leadership of the PSC is electing the people who will be part of that shadow Government. Almost all its members will be deputies of the PSC, despite the fact that in the campaign Illa announced some prestigious names -Maurici Lucena as economic vice president, or Dr. Olga Pané in Health- in case she arrived at the Generalitat. “The alternative Government will demand too much dedication for someone who has a job outside”, they explain.
In addition to the Anglo-Saxon tradition, the benchmark of this shadow Government will be the alternative Executive that Pasqual Maragall launched in 1999, just after winning the elections against Jordi Pujol for the first time. Despite the fact that that result did not allow him to access the Generalitat – he would do so four years later – Maragall commissioned the opposition by areas to leaders such as Joaquim Nadal, Josep Maria Vallès, Antoni Siurana, Marina Geli, Josep María Rañé or Montserrat Tura, who later were ‘consellers’ with the tripartite.
“That methodology was very good, many kilometers and a lot of work were done”, they recall from the party leadership. The PSC plans to address the issue in the extraordinary National Council that it has convened for this Saturday, with the presence of both Illa and the first secretary of the party and minister of Territorial Policy and Public Function.
Illa repeats these days that the PSC is the “first party in Catalonia”, and that it wants to lead a “forceful, but constructive” opposition, to make it clear to citizens that the Socialists are a real alternative after a decade of ‘procés’. The first step was taken a few days ago, when he asked the president of the Parliament, Laura Borràs, to formally declare him head of the opposition, a figure regulated by Catalan law. This Friday the Bulletin of the Chamber has published the appointment. The next will be the activation of the Government in the shadow.