Aragonese in Madrid, by Joan Tapia

the conference of Pere Aragonès in Madrid It has coincided with the publication of the latest survey of the CEO of the Generalitat and with the reply to the ‘president’ of Salvador Illa, the socialist leader of the opposition. What consequences can we draw from these three events of the last 48 hours?

The first is that there is tension in Catalonia and in relations between Barcelona and Madrid. The second is that this distension is only a very remote first step to get closer to a meeting point. And the third is that in the short term a relevant agreement is impossible for two reasons. One, due to the already mentioned great distance between the final objectives -self-determination referendum or development of the Statute- of one and the other. Two, perhaps more relevant, because we have entered a long electoral campaign of two years whose first goal is the autonomic ones of Castile and Leon next February 13. And in this tough and decisive campaign – the disunited right can add to the general elections at the end of 2023 – nobody wants to give the image that they forget part of their principles. Nor disturb or disturb the faith of their voters. On the contrary, everyone needs to maintain or increase their electoral quota.

There is tension because the ERC has just approved the Budgets of Sánchez and does not prioritize the immediate convening of the dialogue table. And because Salvador Illa practices a dialoguing opposition and, together with the ‘comuns’, he wants to participate in the Catalan pact on the language. Unlike Cs in the previous legislature, he does not use his position as the first party in Parliament to make a scorched earth opposition.

The assessments that the Catalans make of the Government of the Generalitat and that of Madrid also indicate relaxation. Both obtain a high suspense (4.85 the Generalitat and 4.41 Madrid), but despite the suspense, both are approved by the majority of those surveyed (62% and 54%, respectively). Today there is no climate of tension between Catalonia and Madrid or between the governments of Aragonès and Sánchez.

But the positions of both governments remain far apart. Aragonès insists on amnesty and the self-determination referendum and poses two challenges to the Spanish government: dare to call the referendum and risk losing it. And Illa answered as a serve: neither amnesty nor referendum.

They are very contrary positions that, furthermore, no one will soften in the face of a life-or-death electoral battle. Sánchez does not want what Spanish public opinion may judge of excessive concessions to the independence movement to make him lose the elections. He has noted that the pardons have passed, but that according to the latest survey (‘El País’) there are more Spaniards (50%) who do not agree than those who approve (24%).

And Aragonès knows that he must take care of his voters because all ‘betrayal’ of the independence myth (practice is a venial sin) would be used by his enemies from JxCat and the CUP to weaken him in the municipal elections of 2023 that Junqueras considers as the final lace to Junts.

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ERC has not decided, by electoral calculation, to fully comply with what the majority of Catalans want: 59%, that they prioritize the management of problems, compared to 37%, that the main thing is the political conflict. But neither does he abdicate realistic praxis because now only JxCat voters (not ERC ones) prioritize independence.

That’s the way things are. Much better than in 2017, or when Torra did his thing (in word), but much worse than desirable. Catalonia is stagnant. Can’t get off the ground.

Reference-www.elperiodico.com

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