“Either electoral repetition or they make an agreement with us,” The former Catalan president and leader of the Junts Per Catalunya party, Carles Puigdemont, warned this Tuesday in Belgium, where he has lived since he esced from Spain to avoid going to prison for having declared the independence of Catalonia in 2017.
His words were directed at the Popular Party (PP) and the PSOE, the forces competing to form a new government in Spain and that They need Puigdemont’s support who, for the Justice of his country, is a fugitive.
In the July general elections, Puigdemont’s party got seven seats in the Spanish Parliament that would be decisive when it comes to adding adhesions so that the candidate of the PP, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, or that of the PSOE, Pedro Sanchez, reaches half plus one of the 350 deputies that make up Congress to be invested as the new president of the Spanish government.
In this way, the electoral situation puts in the hands of the Catalan independence movement that the Spanish Justice wants to extradite and judge the key that It may or may not allow the formation of a government.
“Neither of the two major Spanish parties has enough strength to prevail over the other,” said Carles Puigdemont from a room prepared for his speech and surrounded by his delegation in Brussels, where the former Catalan president is a member of the European Parliament.
“None of them has an alliance right now that provides them a solid and coherent majority. And they are not yet in a position to reach an agreement between themselves, he insisted. “Either elections or pact with us.”
He even allowed himself to be ironic: “They can make a virtue of necessity,” said the former Catalan president. Today Spain has a complex dilemma to resolve. Either they repeat elections, with the risk that the political balances end up being as fragile as those now, or they agree with a party that maintains the legitimacy of October 1 (2017, date of the self-determination referendum) and that has not and will not renounce unilateralism as a legitimate resource to assert the interests of the Catalan people.”
Puigdemont clarified what his conditions are to facilitate a possible investiture of Pedro Sanchez, acting president until Spain has a new government: that an amnesty law be proved which means abandoning judicial proceedings against the independence movement.
An amnesty law?
He was clear: “Regarding the democratic legitimacy of the independence movement, the complete and effective abandonment of judicial avenues against the independence movement and the independentistas,” he listed. The Spanish Parliament would have to do it through an amnesty law that includes the broad spectrum of the consultation that began in November 2014,” he said, alluding to the popular consultation on the political future of Catalonia that the Catalan government launched at that time.
The independence leader made public its conditions for possible support a day after meeting with Pedro Sanchez’s second vice president and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Diaz.
From the Moncloa Palace they distanced themselves from the meeting and assured that the minister attended as the leader of Sumar, the main political ally of the PSOE. to form a government since the elections of July 23.
It was the first time that a member of the government, even if he was in office, was with the former regional president who could not set foot in Spain without going to prison.
For that meeting, the leader and candidate of the PP, Nunez Feijoo, asked for resignation by Yolanda Diaz.
From the party of the second vice president and Minister of Labor, they are already beginning to pave the way for a possible understanding with the Catalans: “Sumar has been saying for some time that we must work on the best constitutional fit for an amnesty law so that many people of Catalonia find a political solution,” said Marta Lois, parliamentary spokesperson for Sumar, on Tuesday.
After the meeting of ministers, the Minister of Territorial Policy and spokesperson for the acting government, Isabel Rodriguez, dismissed Puigdemont’s demands: “A world separates us,” said Rodriguez. We have a tool, which is dialogue. We have a framework, which is the Constitution. And we have a goal, which is coexistence”.
Alarmed by the speech of those who would consider the possibility of amnesty, former Spanish president Felipe Gonzalez said: “The Constitution is not chewing gum, amnesty is not possible nor self-determination,” he said this Tuesday in a radio interview.
And he criticized the fact that Yolanda Diaz’s meeting with Puigdemont wanted to remove her status: “If she is not going to be vice president, then let her stop being vice president for a while, saying that I am not dedicated to this now, that it is a precarious job, and I am a facilitator of Puigdemont,” Gonzalez ironically said.
For his part, the PP candidate for the presidency, Nunez Feijoo, announced this Tuesday that he has crossed out Junts Per Catalunya from the list of parties with which he is meeting to try to negotiate his investiture in the debate on September 26 and 27.
“I am not subject to any auction nor will I accept any blackmail“Nunez Feijoo said this Tuesday, after meeting with Santiago Abascal, leader of Vox and main ally of the PP.
“And I, where Pedro Sanchez seems willing to go, I don’t go through. To annul the independence of the Judiciary, to accept that democratic Spain has not been democratic in 2017, that is not what I will do,” said Nunez Feijoo.