The negotiation of the budgets of the Generalitat enters its key week

A week and little more.

Thomas Osborne
Thomas Osborne
28 November 2022 Monday 13:31
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The negotiation of the budgets of the Generalitat enters its key week

A week and little more. If the Government wants to put the approval in the Parliament of the next budgets of the Generalitat on track before Christmas, it must speed up and reach an agreement with the three groups with which it maintains contacts (PSC, Junts and En Comú Podem).

The three parties have spent weeks demanding that the ERC Executive get its act together, that it agree to negotiate concretions and that it send detailed information on its draft budget to close agreements, but the Government has been matching the deadlines with the positions of the PSOE and the PSC in the general budgets of the State, the reform of sedition and, why not, embezzlement.

The wait has meant that the calendar for negotiating the Catalan accounts has been compressed and, if the forecast of approving the draft bill in Consell Executiu is maintained next week -in an extraordinary meeting of the Government-, there are only eight days left to agree if not you want to force the calendar. With this forecast, the Parliament could process the accounts before Christmas and have their final validation ready by the end of January if Ciudadanos, Vox and PP do not delay the deadlines by requesting an opinion from the Consell de Garanties Estatutàries. In addition, the date that the Government is considering is very close to December 9, when the deadline for the groups in Congress to present amendments to the reform of the Penal Code ends.

If the Government approved the preliminary draft of the budgets a week beyond the bridges of the Constitution and the Immaculate Conception, the deadlines would force a plenary session to be called coinciding with the Christmas dates –a scenario not desired by any of the groups–, since From that approval, ten calendar days are stipulated for the presentation of amendments to the entirety.

Thus, the Government has now proposed to speed up the negotiations. Ensures that both the PSC and Junts have the information they have requested. The pact, however, seems closer to the Socialists, who from the Republican ranks assure that they "stage" in public a disagreement that does not occur in private meetings.

Here comes into play the struggle for the story between the pro-independence parties since the breakup of the Government and the electoral dispute between Republicans and Socialists. ERC insists that until recently it has designated Junts as a priority. However, this Monday Marta Vilalta, ERC spokesperson, has already matched the PSC among the preferences and no longer made distinctions.

But the flirtation between two sides is difficult for it to prosper and this was warned yesterday by socialists and post-convertents. Salvador Illa has demanded Pere Aragonès to clarify whether "he wants budgets with the PSC or not", and the same goes for Junts: "If the Government wanted to approve the State budgets to later get the PSC's support for the Catalan budgets that we explain and we will stop machines ”, summoned the spokesman Josep Rius.

Even in the commons, with whom the Catalan Executive assures that the agreement is "very advanced" after the fifth meeting on Monday, the complaint prevails that the talks "advance very slowly", that the Government comes "dragging its feet", without the "political will" that would be required and with "few proposals." And like PSC and Junts, they expect a "change of attitude" from Aragonès so that "advances and concretions this week" can take place.

Beyond the interested story that feeds each party, the complaint of the slow pace imposed by the Government is coincidental among potential budgetary partners. The information requested by the parties arrives "with a dropper", but at least it gives rise to thinking that something is moving, that there is room and time for an agreement.

Given this, Oriol Junqueras has called on the PSC, Junts and the commons to "roll up their sleeves" and put aside "partisanship, tactics, short-termism and selfishness" and to facilitate the approval of the Catalan accounts. During an extraordinary national council of his party, the ERC leader has demanded the same "generosity" and "responsibility" in the face of the energy crisis and runaway inflation. Two virtues that, according to him, Esquerra has demonstrated on other occasions, such as with the general state budgets.