Pere Aragonès keeps all the doors of the budget negotiation open with the PSC, Junts and the commons, to such an extent that he believes that it is possible and compatible to reach an agreement with the three parties at the same time. The Government has accelerated contacts with all of them this week to try to approve the 2023 draft next week in an extraordinary Executive Council -December 9 is one of the probable dates- and so that its first procedure can be carried out and endorsed in Parliament before Christmas. And to ensure the shot, the Catalan Executive has promised this afternoon to agree with the PSC or Junts, or both at the same time, before the full debate in the Chamber.
Precisely, that they have that approval, is what the PSC had set as a condition. Those of Salvador Illa had warned that they would vote against the processing of the numbers if they reached Parliament without a preliminary agreement. Now the situation is, therefore, a little more propitious for them to reach an understanding. The positions seem closer between the Government and the Socialists than between the Government and Junts. That a four-member agreement is compatible seems more complicated: both Salvador Illa and Josep Rius, vice president of Junts, yesterday demanded that Aragonès clarify which of the two he wanted to agree with.
Those of Illa have reasons for this: once the numbers enter the Chamber, the possibilities of amending them are reduced, since the income forecasts and the maximum global expenditure are fixed, which this year has 3,000 million euros more than in 2022, and it is not possible to move amounts from one item to another. In any case, where there would be room for modifications is in the fiscal measures. They are contained in the budget accompanying law
The Cabinet spokesperson, Patrícia Plaja, has avoided specifying the calendar, but has assured that the Government hopes to reach an agreement "in the coming days." Plaja has stressed that despite what socialists, post-convergents and commoners may affirm in public, contacts have "accelerated remarkably". In fact, she has attributed the constant reproaches for lack of information to "the negotiation strategy" of all of them.
Until today, there have been a dozen meetings and daily meetings are planned, at least one "and in some cases more than two". In any case, Plaja has stressed that "we must see the real will" to negotiate that the other three actors have. He wanted to make it clear that the priority partners continue to be Junts and the common ones, not only for budgets, but also for Government agreements that may occur in the future. However, the spokeswoman herself has recognized that the PSC is already fully integrated into the talks as a possibility.
The extension on January 1 of the current budgets is inevitable. If the 2023 budgets are processed in the Parliament before Christmas, a possible final approval would not arrive until the end of January or the beginning of February.
"What the Government of Catalonia wants is for there to be new budgets because it is necessary, it is urgent that citizens be able to use all public resources to be able to face the current situation and an agreement is sought with the maximum possible support, we do not have We have to choose between one and the other and we are not satisfied with two groups”, Plaja stressed.
While waiting for the Government to really speed up the negotiations, the Socialists and Commonwealth once again express their pessimism. In separate press conferences from the Parliament they have once again criticized the parsimonious attitude that the Catalan Executive has shown to date in these conversations. This attitude has led both formations to point out that they see it as "practically unfeasible" to close an agreement on the accounts this week, with the aim of the Government approving the bill next week.
The socialist spokesperson in Parliament, Alícia Romero, has revealed that this Tuesday they will meet again with the Government, a meeting that will be attended by the Minister of Economy, Natàlia Mas, but the deputy has once again demanded that the Executive of Aragonès specify if He wants an agreement or not with the PSC because to date "we have not started to negotiate", he said, although it is true that they have already received a good part of the documentation that they demanded from the Government to work on the possible agreement.
For her part, the president of the group of the commons, Jéssica Albiach, has once again warned that "we will not give a blank check", as a consequence of the lack of specificity in the matters that they have been trying to negotiate. Among them, "key folders" would still have to be opened and started to be negotiated, such as a "rescue for public health" and a social shock plan of 1,000 million euros.