Aragonès once again reaches out to Junts to join the budget pact

The Catalan budgets will surely go ahead after the agreements reached between the Government and the parliamentary groups of the PSC and En Comú Podem.

Thomas Osborne
Thomas Osborne
02 February 2023 Thursday 02:37
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Aragonès once again reaches out to Junts to join the budget pact

The Catalan budgets will surely go ahead after the agreements reached between the Government and the parliamentary groups of the PSC and En Comú Podem. But President Pere Aragonès has insisted this Thursday on trying to expand the majority that will support them and incorporating Junts per Catalunya into the equation. "Not only should it be possible, but it is absolutely desirable," said the head of the Catalan Executive in an institutional appearance in the Gothic gallery of the Palau de la Generalitat, in which he recalled that "the first conversations to incorporate" the PSC The budgetary formula "was started by a Minister of Economy and Hisenda who was from Junts", alluding to Jaume Giró.

The question of Aragonès has had the immediate response of JuntsxCatalunya at the hands of its general secretary, Jordi Turull, who has made it clear that they will reject the accounts if "they are as they are" and has labeled the pact reached between the Government and the PSC agreed to "let it be" in reference to the majority of the "52%" independentistas. In this sense, Turull, interviewed on Catalunya Ràdio in parallel to the appearance of the president, has emphasized that Aragonès has not made any reference to the issues for which he was elected with the votes of Junts and the CUP.

"They have agreed on the last four budgets of the Barcelona Provincial Council with the Socialists and began talks with the PSC when they still had responsibilities" in the Government, Aragonès recalled, that when it comes to demanding that the post-convergents provide support to the Catalan accounts He has also made a paragraph on the content of the agreement between Republicans and Socialists. "The elements of large infrastructures were also put on the table by Junts, they would have no reason not to vote on the budget," he asserted. "All the conditions are in place for Junts to support the budget if they put the interests of the country first," he concluded.

However, the president has rejected the option of considering the tax changes that JxCat demanded in the negotiation: eliminate the inheritance tax, a deflation of 3.5 points in personal income tax so that inflation does not affect as much and reduce the tranche personal income tax plus half a point. "What we will not do is lower taxes for the richest in Catalonia at a time of economic need," he pointed out. A question that Turull has instantly refuted on public radio by calling it "demagogy from before" to talk about lowering taxes for the rich when what they want is to deflate all sections of the personal income tax.

Likewise, Aragonès has denied that the agreement with Salvador Illa, first secretary of the PSC, goes beyond the economic aspect and has reiterated that it is not a broader alliance for the remainder of the legislature. The monocolor ERC Government is the one with the least support in history, only 33 deputies out of 135, but the president has reiterated his willingness to go "project by project and measure by measure", as he pointed out in October after the break with the post-convergents and their abrupt departure from the Catalan Executive, and has once again reached out to all the groups to push the measures forward in Parliament.

"52% [the percentage of the independence vote in the last regional elections, those of February 2021] is not diluted by approving some budgets. We are available so that Catalonia can decide its future, that is why I proposed a clarity agreement and if someone has a better alternative, I am sure that he will propose it", said the head of the Government. "It is a budget agreement, not a legislature", he has sentenced.

On the contrary, Turull has considered that the agreement is not exactly "cyclical" and has opined that the agreement with the PSOE has been prioritized "to stabilize the Government in Madrid and from Madrid to the Government here." "It has become clear which is the priority partner", pointed out the post-convergent leader who sees with this the beginning of "a new cycle". "They have increasingly stabilized the State instead of promoting the independence process," he lamented.

Regarding the ambiguities contained in the agreement with the Socialists in aspects such as El Prat airport, in which there is talk of "gaining capacity" and "modernizing" the infrastructure, giving rise to different interpretations, Aragonès has stuck to what is included in the document signed by both actors. "The contents of the agreement are strictly what is written. The texts reflect the effort that all parties have made, with different visions and we have made an effort because we continue to maintain different visions." "Gain capacity. That is what is written," stressed the Republican leader, who explained that work is now beginning to reach an agreement with the central government. "It is not an easy situation, nor is it an issue that can be resolved in an afternoon. It needs territorial consensus and technical work," detailed the president, who has ensured that there will be respect for the environment and biodiversity.

The project of accounts for 2023, after the entente staged yesterday with the Catalan socialists, is approved this Thursday in an extraordinary meeting of the Consell Executiu and the parliamentary process begins today with the delivery of the budgets, the most important law that approves any government, to the Parliament by the minister of the sector, Natàlia Mas. In this case, the numbers will be delivered to the first vice president, Alba Vergès, who performs the functions of president after the suspension of Laura Borràs as deputy and president of the Chamber.