Marcel Vidal – 25/09/2020
Catalonia, sooner or later, will vote in new elections for its representatives in Parliament. It is evident that Quim Torra and Carles Puigdemont want to take advantage of the possible disqualification of the Catalan president to appeal to the most faithful pro-independence voter and prevent Esquerra Republicana from controlling the presidency of the Generalitat. However, there is the paradox that, after having failed for the second time the government agreement between the post-convergent space and the republicans, both forces, despite constant reproaches, assure that they will have to agree again on facing a future executive (if parliamentary arithmetic allows). It should be remembered that Oriol Junqueras went from being the leader of the opposition during the last term of Artur Mas to being the vice president of the Government of Puigdemont, who was then a member of the CDC, like his predecessor.
The dismissal of Regional Minister of Business Chacón for being an associate of PDECat, the division between Junts per Catalunya and the party led by Bonvehí or the emergence of the Nationalist Party of Catalonia (PNC) illustrate the strong intransigence and growing sectarianism of the current members of the Catalan Government As well as that the exclusion suffered by the Generalitat for voters of non-independence forces has recently moved to the sovereignist space. Likewise, Junts per Catalunya and Ciutadans continue to promote the confrontation and polarization that gave them such good results in 2017, and continue to bet on a victory for the minimum that allows them to achieve their political objective and that, consequently, entails the surrender of the other half Catalan people.
With this scenario in Catalonia, on September 1 the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) and the Socialist Party of Euskadi (PSE) reissued the coalition government of the last legislature with a roadmap based on four main axes: reactivating the economy Basque; guarantee health, public services and social policies; bet on a just energy and climate transition; and work for more and better self-government. The agreement between moderate Basque nationalism and socialism, apart from assuming an absolute majority for both political forces, makes it possible to place the problems of citizenship as the first priority, preserve political plurality and avoid social polarization. Not even the differences in relation to how the reform of the Statute of Gernika has to be approached have been a stumbling block to achieve the legislative agreement. Would we sign an agreement like this in Catalonia today?
Catalan Government persists in its idea of permanent confrontation and makes it increasingly difficult to achieve a pact (increasingly necessary) within Catalan society. To achieve this agreement, which would have to allow a certain reconciliation between the Catalan citizenship, the will and complicity of political actors from the pro-independence and non-independence spheres will be necessary. In this sense, we must start from the premise that neither pro-independence voters nor those that are not will disappear and that the parliamentary groups that support the Catalan government have little interest in leaving the trenches and looking for meeting points with the opposition to rebuild the civil unity of Catalonia.
Currently, the PSC and Comuns in the spectrum of the left and the PNC and Units per Avançar in the conservative wing have taken some steps to try to reduce the tension and redo the social damage caused by the events of 2017. It remains to be seen if the PDECat adheres to this dynamic. It would be interesting if the four deputies of the Democratic Party in Congress joined in the negotiation of the state budgets, since this would mean an amendment to the totality of the strategy of total confrontation marked since Waterloo and a shift towards more pragmatic positions.
I recognize the difficulty and complexity of the endeavor, but we cannot afford a legislature like the previous one or one like the current one. The climate of reproaches and permanent confrontation that Junts per Catalunya and Ciutadans mainly want, but also ERC, makes it more necessary than ever to open spaces for dialogue, meeting and entente.
The spirit of the Basque pact, which takes into account nationalists and non-nationalists, should be the way to go.