News"The main factory of independentistas in Catalonia is the Popular Party"

    “The main factory of independentistas in Catalonia is the Popular Party”

    In a low voice and although the polls do not sweeten his ears, the president of the government and candidate for re-election for the PSOE, Pedro Sanchez, he admits that he would love to reissue a coalition government. Like the one that he himself truncated ahead of time when he brought forward the general elections scheduled for December to July 23.

    This time, he would not agree with Podemos but with Sumar, the political force that is making its debut at the polls and that brings together some 15 formations to the left of the PSOE.

    And it hopes, once again, that the parties with the least parliamentary representation, as the Catalan separatists of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC)support it or, at least, that they do not vote against it.

    He dreams of reaching, thus, the 176 deputies in his favor that he should sit in Parliament to achieve an improbable absolute majority or, in second instancejust to get more “yes” than “no”.

    Catalan independence leader Oriol Junqueras. Photo EFE

    The 13 deputies that Esquerra had in the Congress of Deputies that has just been dissolved were the key to Sanchez’s governance in the last four years.

    However, It was not free support.

    A few days ago, in a debate between the seven parliamentary spokesmen of the main political parties, Gabriel Rufian, ERC spokesman in Congress, admitted that, in return, his party “forced” Sanchez “to get nine people out of jail.”

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    He was referring to the Catalan pro-independence politicians convicted of having organized a self-determination referendum that the Constitutional Court considered illegal and for having unilaterally declared the independence of Catalonia in 2017.

    One of them was oriol junquerasformer Catalan vice president who was sentenced to 13 years in prison and disqualified.

    And while Carles Puigdemont, then president of the Generalitat, fled Spain to avoid jail, Junqueras was imprisoned from November 2017 to June 2021, when the PSOE-Podemos coalition government pardoned him.

    Today he is the president of ERC and does not hide the intentions of his party: “We will try to carry out a referendum for the independence of Catalonia,” he tells Clarion.

    A march in Barcelona asking for the freedom of Junqueras, in 2018. Photo AFP

    A march in Barcelona asking for the freedom of Junqueras, in 2018. Photo AFP

    -Will the referendum be the condition for Esquerra to support a possible investiture of Pedro Sanchez after July 23?

    -We will try to specify our democratic proposal for a referendum based on the electoral results. We will see when and in what context it is more feasible to achieve it.

    -If, as the polls indicate, the candidate of the Popular Party (PP), Alberto Nunez Feijoo, wins and manages to form a government, would it be a hard blow for the independence intentions of Catalonia?

    -Taking into account the antecedents, the answer would have to be that no. Precisely the independence movement has had the maximum social, electoral, political and institutional support in coincidence with the governments of the Popular Party. And often there are those who have affirmed that the main factory of independentistas is the Popular Party.

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    -Nunez Feijoo, usually reproaches Pedro Sanchez: “You govern with the Catalan independentistas” Did Esquerra govern with Sanchez?

    -The obsession of the Popular Party and the Spanish extreme right against Esquerra Republicana I think, deep down, reflects their undemocratic attitude. It is very difficult for them to accept that Esquerra Republicana is a very relevant party in Catalonia and that, therefore, a certain institutional representation corresponds to it. They would like to remove us from the game board. If Esquerra could not be on the institutional stage, this would facilitate the electoral and institutional majorities of the Popular Party. Therefore I think it reflects the little self-confidence that the PP has.

    -But the fact of favoring an investiture and of supporting or abstaining so that some parliamentary initiatives can prosper, is it not for ERC a way of co-governing?

    -When we contribute to proving a pension reform, we do so in favor of pensioners throughout society. Our intention is always to assume the maximum of responsibilities, not only in the Spanish or Catalan context. Also in the European. We try to be decisive whenever we can.

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    -Do you agree with those who say that the rise of the extreme right of Vox in Spain was a reaction to the separatist attempt of the Catalan independence movement?

    -I think it is a very simplistic reading because this would not explain why there are movements of the extreme right in France, in Italy, in the Netherlands. We are not responsible for the existence of far-right movements in Poland or in Hungary. If there are, it will be because there are many reasons and not because there is independence in Catalonia.

    -President Pedro Sanchez claims the current social serenity in Catalonia. Is it due to Sanchez or is it because the independence movement changed its strategy?

    -The independence movement does not change its strategy. Ours is always a deeply democratic and incorruptly democratic strategy. We want the future of our country to be decided by our society democratically. And the best way to say the future of our society democratically is through a referendum. Our strategy is always the same. Certainly in 2017, after 18 attempts to hold a referendum agreed with the Spanish government, we opted to hold a referendum that the Spanish government decided to pursue, despite the fact that calling and holding a referendum does not pear in the Penal Code and, therefore, It’s never a crime.

    Madrid. Correspondent


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    Source: Clarin

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