Aragonès pressures Junts to join the majority of budgets

The budget machinery is already in motion.

Thomas Osborne
Thomas Osborne
03 February 2023 Friday 02:38
81 Reads
Aragonès pressures Junts to join the majority of budgets

The budget machinery is already in motion. The Government approved the bill yesterday in an extraordinary meeting of the Executive Council, and registered it in the Parliament to start its processing. The definitive approval is expected in mid-March and is already guaranteed after the pacts of the Executive of Pere Aragonès with the PSC and En Comú Podem.

Junts also participated in the negotiations, which has followed the slipstream of the other two groups, and yesterday the president insisted on trying to expand the majority that will validate the 2023 accounts with the post-convergents. "Not only should it be possible, but it is absolutely desirable," he said at an institutional appearance in the Gothic gallery of the Palau de la Generalitat, where he recalled, given the criticism received for agreeing with the Socialists, that "the first conversations to incorporate" to the PSC to the budgetary formula "they were started by a Minister of Economy and Hisenda who was from JxCat", alluding to Jaume Giró.

That desire turned almost into pressure with the battery of arguments that the head of the Catalan Executive deployed. “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, reiterated Aragonès, who also made a subsection on the content of the agreement between the Republicans and the PSC. “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 JxCat to support the budgets if it puts the interests of the country first,” he concluded.

Aragonès' questioning ran into an immediate response from the General Secretary of Junts, Jordi Turull, who made it clear that they will reject the accounts if "they are as they are" now. In addition, Turull stressed that Aragonès did not make any reference to the issues for which he was elected with the votes of Junts and the CUP. The JxCat leader sent a letter to the president on Tuesday, who responded yesterday by claiming that 79% of the measures they request are already included.

The national axis was not the only reason for the clash between the two ex-partners of the Government. The president rejected the option of including the tax reductions that JxCat demanded in the negotiation: progressively eliminating the inheritance tax, a deflation of 3.5 points in personal income tax so that inflation does not affect taxes and lowering half a point the lowest section of personal income tax so that it is the same as in the rest of the autonomous communities. "What we will not do is lower taxes for the richest in Catalonia at a time of economic need," said Aragonès. In turn, Turull called it "demagogy" to talk about lowering taxes for the rich when what they want is to deflate all sections of personal income tax.

Also, in his appearance, the president denied that the agreement with Salvador Illa, first secretary of the PSC, goes beyond the economic aspect and reiterated that it is not a broader alliance or a legislature pact. In fact, Aragonès recovered the message that he sent after the departure of Junts from the Government: "Project to project and measure to measure". “52% [the percentage of the independence vote in the last elections] is not diluted by approving some budgets. We are available so that Catalonia can decide its future, which is why I proposed a clarity agreement; and if someone has a better alternative, I am sure that he will propose it, ”he sentenced.

For her part, Illa confirmed that Catalonia "has experienced a change of cycle" and that there is a turning point because the isolation into blocks has been broken due to the national question. "It is not necessary to exaggerate, but it is true that there was no agreement for many years between political formations that defend independence and those of us who defend that we have to continue being part of Spain," he said on TV3.