The former president of the Generalitat claims his share of leadership in the resolution of the Catalan conflict
Carles Puigdemont has once again shown that he has more lives than a cat. At the most difficult moment for his party, third force in the Parliament, in decline in the polls and divided in an eternal civil war, the former president of the Generalitat once again occupies the center of the board.
ERC, through its commitment to dialogue and a more pragmatic independence movement, had managed to initiate the mandate of Pere Aragonès, isolating Puigdemont, from whom it had already warned at the beginning of the legislature that it would not accept any tutelage. But his judicial victory in Italy against Judge Llarena, who still cannot extradite him to try him in Spain for sedition and embezzlement, as has already happened with the German and Belgian justices, places him as a hero of the independence movement and almost as the only one in the movement that maintains the strategy of confrontation against Spain.
Llarena’s failed attempts and Pablo Casado’s interventions in the PP convention or that of Emiliano García Page in the regional Parliament have made him the number one public enemy of Spanish politics. And while from their surroundings they sing a “Thank you Pablo” (Llarena), the former president of the Government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero suggests that something is moving to find a solution to their political-judicial situation. Without going any further, the Puigdemont folder was present at the meeting held by Sánchez and Aragonès on the day of the meeting of the dialogue table.
After the Italian justice suspended the extradition request made by the Supreme Court, pending the resolutions of the European justice, Puigdemont has come back to the top and claims his place in the resolution of the conflict, which may have consequences .
From the outset, Junts has raised the tone. Government sources point out that the first consequence of the growing prominence of the former president could already be seen on Wednesday in the control session of the Catalan Government in Parliament. The postconvergents tried to link the situation in Puigdemont with the negotiation of the General State Budgets for 2022. After the “victory” against the Supreme Court, Junts said, it is time to “assert themselves”, with “all force” to negotiate them together . Aragonès scorned this possibility, although days later he did not rule it out, but in his environment they already admit that JxCat will press this issue throughout the budget negotiation.
Government sources admit that they breathed relief with the prompt resolution of the Sardinian court that released the former president in just 24 hours. The extradition of the nationalist leader, they recognize in the Catalan Government, would have made the Catalan legislature “blow up”, ERC would have had to break its relations with the central Government and cancel the table.
This is the other point on which, according to the Republican part of the Catalan Executive, the growing influence of Puigdemont may affect. Specifically, the boycott that the nationalist formation has made of the talks between the Government and the Generalitat from day one. Junts does not go to one. Government sources indicate that Vice President Jordi Puigneró wants to participate in the table, but it is the radicals of his party who prevent him, from the argument that Moncloa – and accepted by Aragonès – has vetoed the members of the Junts, which he proposed a Catalan delegation made up not only of councilors. If the toughest theses are imposed, such as that of Puigdemont or Borràs, Junts will continue without supporting the table, which will continue to be lame.
The PSC is offered
And then there are the Budgets of the Generalitat, which Aragonès and his Minister of Economy intend to approve with the CUP. PSC and the commons are offered as an alternative, in case the anti-capitalists demand unaffordable counterparts, such as the unilateral referendum before 2025. An agreement with the Socialists would open a new era in Catalan politics, which remains to be seen if it will authorize Puigdemont. that its most staunch warn that those who sigh for a progressive landing of the ‘procés’, through the table agreed between the PSOE and ERC, can already forget.
In Junts they again air the threat of his return to Spain “sooner than many think”, but in the Government they do not believe that they want to play it. He could try it if the European justice restores his immunity as a MEP, although he did not do it when he had it. Opposition parliamentary sources consider that the episode in Sardinia could have been forced by the former president himself and by his lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, to return to the limelight. In the Government they discard it. “He caught us all by surprise,” they finish.
ERC leaves the former president alone in his project for a parallel Parliament
The Council for the Republic, a private entity led by Carles Puigdemont from Waterloo, has called elections for the parallel Parliament promoted by the former president. The Council is divided into two axes: what they call the Catalan Government in exile and a Parliament outside the Autonomous Chamber. The former Catalan president has wanted to present it with all the pomposity and appearance of officiality, since the electoral call has been announced by an alleged decree, published in the “official bulletin of the Council.”
525 candidates have been registered to be elected to the Assembly of Representatives, among others, Carles Puigdemont, Laura Borràs (president of the Parliament), Clara Ponsatí, Toni Comín, Lluís Puig or Pilar Calvo. There are no prominent ERC or CUP leaders who have wanted to stand as candidates. The misgivings of these two formations towards the “chiringuito de Puigdemont”, in the words of Rufián collected in a summary of the Democratic Tsunami case, are not new.
From day one they have turned their back on the project and ERC participated, placing a leader on the entity’s governing council and the CUP does so through Poble Lliure. In fact, the role of the Council for the Republic in directing the independence strategy was one of the elements that jeopardized the pact between ERC and the Junts for the investiture.
Aragonès was very clear on the day of his investiture and warned that he will not accept “tutelage” from anyone. It marked ground with respect to Waterloo. Now, ERC not only that, but it already ignores these elections, which will be held between October 29 and 31 and in which the 100,000 members of the Council for the Republic will be able to participate and that will serve to elect 121 representatives. In the background, there are discrepancies about what role Waterloo should play, a reflection of the lack of consensus in the independence movement on what the sovereign strategy should be. The parallel Parliament will hold its first constituent assembly on November 14.