Government and Generalitat: The key to bilaterality, by Joan Tardà

The concept of bilateralism emerged from the National Conference of the Republican Left held a few days ago in l’Hospitalet. On the one hand, that arising from the need to invest all kinds of efforts in make viable a negotiation with the Government of Pedro Sánchez with the aim of turning the incipient dialogue table between the Spanish State and Catalonia into a successful one. Because, beyond the fact that it implies the recognition of the existence of a political conflict, this platform can become the instrument with which the will expressed by the Catalan citizens to have access to a solution to the conflict where a great majority of people feel integrated. In short, a call to “we want you to talk and negotiate & rdquor; that has to evolve into a demand supported by pro-independence and non-pro-independence. There is no reason to deny, then, that in future mobilizations, the slogans revolve around the heartbeat and the evolution of the negotiation itself.

In the independence camp (at least, in the one represented by republicanism that has done its homework to rethink the post 1-O scenario), the bilaterality between governments in terms of conflict resolution, it has become the backbone of its political action, integrating the idea that dialogue does not imply having to give up any objective, but rather is essentially the first option when it comes to overcoming conflicts in societies democratic and of unavoidable assumption, if a better alternative is not available.

Therefore, the doubts and resistance of the Spanish Government disorient to recognize the same reality principle. Indeed, the Spanish president is delaying the convening of a second meeting of the dialogue table in order to avoid having to present “his proposal to him & rdquor; of response to the one conveyed, by the Generalitat, around the amnesty and the referendum in the first meeting. And it is even more worrying that socialism wanted convert the extraordinary presence of Pere Aragonès in the summit of presidents of CCAA, held last Sunday in La Palma, as a rectification and a renunciation of the bilateralism advocated by the independence movement in relations with the Spanish administration. It did not help that the Aragonès ‘president’ himself had made it clear that it was a singular event, caused by the tragedy of the war in Ukraine and that did not entail a return to multilateral relations who has always chaired the dialogue between the central and regional governments. Salvador Illa insisted and looked to take advantage of publicly congratulating Pere Aragonès for having been present, after ten years of absenteeism at a summit of this type.

In any case, beyond the short dribbles, the fact is that, coinciding with the day and time of the Canarian appointment, the National Conference of Esquerra approved, with the attendance of almost a thousand members, a document in which was ratified the abandonment of multilateralism, being attributed the category of obsolete scenario that must be definitively and actively overcome. A praxis, on the contrary, that has already begun with the non-participation of Catalonia in the debates, works and agreements that have been unfolding for a few years between the central government and the autonomous communities regarding the approval of a new financing modelunderstanding that it is an issue that must be resolved strictly on a bilateral basis.

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That the PSOE resists accepting bilateralism as a vault key where all the initiatives, pressures and contradictions can be sustained, both those related to the dialogue table of the political conflict and those derived from a new relationship between the two administrations, leaves little room for optimismespecially if there are perceived attempts to delay, but also to undermine the purpose of the dialogue table with the incorporation of points on the agenda that are unrelated to the resolution of the conflict, such as the one related to the problem of the Catalan languagewhich could be linked to parliamentary agreements to make a Language Law possible.

The inaction of the PSOE, the refusal to convert bilateralism into a cushion capable of turning the machinery of the Spain-Catalonia negotiation in all areas, does not fit with the paradox that the demoscopy persistently illustrates: the current Spanish Government it depends and will depend in the coming years on the political forces that aspire to no longer belong to the Spanish State.

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