The outcome of the double budget negotiation will be crucial to unravel the dialogue table and the Spanish and Catalan political agendas
The next few weeks will be key to advance in the double budget negotiation that they hold, in parallel, Pedro Sanchez and Pere Aragonès. The accounts of the State and the accounts of the Generalitat of 2022 are linked this time by a multitude of common ramifications – especially those that concern the desired European funds– and they are crucial to unblock the political agendas of Spain, Catalonia and the one that aspires to bring both administrations closer together around a dialogue table. Those responsible for that table claim that they do not intend to officially convene it before next January, that is, when the Moncloa and Palau de la Generalitat teams have completed the procedures for their respective budgets and are clear, in addition to whether they can count on public accounts and management capacity for next year, if its survival and political strength are guaranteed in the medium term.
The Prime Minister has already passed the litmus test of the amendments to the whole to its budget project and it has been achieved precisely by the hand of the President of the Generalitat, who agreed to withdraw ERC’s veto at the last moment in exchange, among other things, for written guarantees that the future audiovisual law it would entail mandatory quotas for televisions and platforms to invest in production in Catalan. It remains to put the fine print on that commitment and the matter is complex and slow cooker, as EL PERIÓDICO advances.
The sudokus of Moncloa
In any case, Moncloa expects to finalize the parliamentary processing of its Budgets for next year around Christmas Eve, with enough time to simultaneously solve the sudokus of the labour reform and the pensions, which, along with other regulations such as the one that affects precisely the audiovisual sector, the EU requires Spain to deliver the funds that give meaning to its Budgets. And that, inevitably, they are also the essence for the accounts of Catalonia to be as expansive as they pretend to be.
PSOE and ERC work discreetly with a view to meeting the negotiating table again in January
These Catalan accounts are currently hanging on the CUP. With the PSC and the ‘commons’ waiting for what happens with the anti-capitalists to take over. The scenario for Aragonès is not the most favorable. After pointing out Junts that his transfer capacity has been exhausted with the gestures on the Hard Rock and the Winter Olympic Games, any new nod to the CUP could open another internal fissure in the Government. And from Malaga to Malagón. Because also the eventual replacement of the CUP, if its bases opt for the amendment to the whole, could generate a new ditch in the Executive Council.
The owl of the PSC
And it is that the puigdemontistas wish to agree on the accounts with the PSC, in line with the agreements between them on the extension of El Prat, finally failed, and in the Barcelona Provincial Council, while ERC would opt for the ‘commons’. By active, that is, because Together We Can continues to defend a referendum as a way out of the conflict (although recently it said that now is not the time), and passively, for not agreeing with the PSC.
Beyond breaking any majority not only pro-independence, but also self-determining, the Republicans want to flee from the scene of reciprocal support with the socialists. Because it takes away their strength and ability to coerce in Congress. And they remember that the ‘comuns’ already favored, with their vote, the current budgets, when Aragonès was the economic vice president of Quim Roast. In the background lies the will of Esquerra and JxCat to hang the owl on the partner (and, nevertheless, enemy) of ‘friend number 1’ of the PSC. Hence, for example, that one of the arguments with which ERC tries to convince the CUP is that its hypothetical ‘would not’ leave open the cathole through which the socialists were sneaking to end the 52% pro-independence majority achieved in the urns.
The Government and the PSC negotiate in parallel the renewal of 120 positions in Catalan public bodies
Another negotiation in progress
And it is that the paths between republicans and socialists already intersect too many times, apparently from ERC. Not only in the dialogue table, in which, they say, they work discreetly until the formal and public appointment of January, but also in the negotiation of the renewal of the 120 positions of bodies dependent on the Generalitat, such as the Ombudsman and the dome of TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio. Republican sources acknowledge that it is being negotiated, but that the positions are still “distant.” Sánchez could also take advantage of the next few weeks to tighten the PP in order to finish squaring his circle with the pact to renew the General Council of the Judiciary, which is about to expire three years.
Once Sánchez and Aragonès have passed (or not) their respective budgetary viacrucis, the dialogue table will be reactivated. Sources from the Government and the Generalitat point out that it would be desirable that in the first meeting of 2022 some agreement could be blessed, so that the citizens and those parties that, like Junts, refuse for the moment to occupy the place they have reserved in this forum, you will see its usefulness. The same occurs with the bilateral commission, in which the Generalitat has just raised 56 transfer claims.