Except for an unexpected turn at the last minute, the Government and the PSC will show once again in Parliament today their disagreements on economic and infrastructure matters and that the budget negotiations, a priori in the final phase, are bitter. It will be with the debate and vote on a motion of the Socialists on infrastructures and the B-40, the main stumbling block for there to be an agreement on the project of Catalan accounts for 2023. Esquerra Republicana moved from its initial position on Monday and proposed an amendment , that the socialists do not judge as sufficient to accept the transaction.
Yesterday, at the start of the first plenary session of the year, the clash was already evident during the control session, although the tone was contained. But later, in the afternoon, it became clear that the negotiation of the Generalitat's budgets is headed for disaster in light of what happened yesterday in the chamber, where the opposition assumed de facto control of Catalan finances via amendments, forcing the Executive to agree on the content of the budget extension.
Junts and PSC joined forces yesterday in the Catalan Chamber, in the vote on the Government's decree law on the budget extension, a procedure that requires the extension of the 2022 budget as this year's budget was not approved in due time and form, on 1 from January. After validating that decree thanks to the post-convergents - the PSC abstained -, both formations forced to process it as a bill. This will force the Government to gather support in Parliament to move it forward, allowing the groups to introduce technical changes to the text.
Although the decree is already in force because it was approved by the Government, its processing as a bill requires a long parliamentary process in which the groups will have a voice and a vote. First, a paper and a commission must be opened in which the groups can present and negotiate amendments, and finally, it must be approved again by the plenary session of the Chamber.
The project contains the authorizations to the Government so that public sector entities can carry out debt operations, as well as to grant guarantees in credit operations, risk coverage and loans. But all these financial forecasts must now have the majority support of the Parliament, with which the main opposition parties, Junts and PSC, will have the power to modify or condition these items, according to those groups, although in the Government they downplay importance to the measure in view of the expectation that there will end up being an agreement that allows new budgets.
The maneuver of socialists and post-convergents accounts for the situation of blockade in which the negotiation of the budgets finds itself. The Government on the one hand, and PSC and Junts on the other, demonstrated in the debate on the decree and in the control session their distance in this area and the final vote precisely reflects the length of that distance and they also wanted to send a message to the republicans.
All in all, the PSC is the one that is closest to reaching an agreement with the Executive, but its demands in terms of infrastructure – the expansion of El Prat airport, the execution of the B-40 between Sabadell and Terrassa or the Hard Rock – are stumbling blocks in which ERC does not seem willing to give in, although in the case of the Valles highway, the Republicans say they have made "a very important move."
After a fateful day in the Catalan Chamber in which Aragonès and the leader of the opposition, Salvador Illa, failed to reduce their discrepancies, not even with a new meeting between the Government and PSC, today a motion of the Socialists on infrastructures that He places in his first statement the need to execute the highway of discord.
Even so, in the control session, Illa and the president showed their kinder faces, with mutual invitations to "deepen" the agreement, but the PSC man did not miss the opportunity to reproach Aragonès for his attempt to bypass him when he asked Pedro Sánchez to intercede to soften the socialist demands.
The president's procedure proved unsuccessful on Tuesday, in the Congress of Deputies, where ERC fulfilled its threat to withdraw from the majority of Sánchez's investiture by abstaining from the government's anti-crisis decree. But this has only reaffirmed the position of Illa, who found an ally in Junts when spokesman Albert Batet considered Aragonès's strategy "very branch-oriented" and made him ugly for his "lack of institutional leadership", in a string of reproaches.
The ERC situation was summed up well yesterday by Gabriel Rufián from Madrid, eliminating Junts from the possible equation and acknowledging Illa's negotiating "ability": "He does not approve the budgets because he knows that it wears out ERC, but also the PSC," he warned. Rufián stressed that the socialist "won in Catalonia", something with which the PSC believes that the Government and the rest of the ERC have not become aware.