The return of the PSC

It never left, but it seemed so.

Thomas Osborne
Thomas Osborne
01 February 2023 Wednesday 17:45
14 Reads
The return of the PSC

It never left, but it seemed so. Now, he returns and does so through the front door: as a supporter of the budgets of the Government of the Generalitat, which is the same as saying that as an insurance company of the current autonomous legislature. We are talking about the PSC, of ​​course. Main reason? An old law of the trade of men that some tend to forget in a reckless way: any space that remains free in politics is occupied by other players, who take advantage of that void to gain positions on the board where the game takes place.

It was sung that, with the departure of Junts from the Catalan Executive, the socialist group would become a much more valuable piece in the Parliament and in relation to the objectives of President Aragonès, who could not carry out the accounts only with the commons.

In the end, there has been an agreement and Salvador Illa has had the staging he was looking for to communicate the message that suits him, namely: the PSC is a party that puts governability and the need to combat the crisis before the temptation to pass on everything, so that the ERC cabinet was cooking in its precariousness. Start the campaign of the socialists selling stability, reliability and trust.

Two phenomena are taking place at the same time and both may have great significance in the coming months. On the one hand, the PSC seeks to establish itself definitively as "the party of order" in Catalonia, assuming by decantation that function that CiU carried out for more than two decades with Jordi Pujol at the helm. It is about recovering and expanding a historical centrality (the most diverse party-knee) that Catalan socialism had until the process broke out like an earthquake that changed the map.

The PSC suffered the very rapid rise of Ciudadanos as a shock and refuge option for the sectors most opposed to a secession. Before, and in a more gradual way, it had suffered the abandonment of those voters, militants and leaders who joined the sovereignism after verifying that the federalism of the PSOE was a mere blank label. Today, the Socialists have recovered a considerable part of those voters who were seduced by the gruesome sensationalism of the orange party.

On the other hand, the budget agreement represents the official break with the block policy that the process and application of 155 turned into the only possible policy. Although it is true that the PSC has participated in agreements with the independentists to renew the Catalan Corporation for Audiovisual Media, the Sindicatura de Greuges, the Audiovisual Council of Catalonia, the Audit Office or the Council of Statutory Guarantees, its role as a partner in matters of general policy was taboo for ERC and Junts (with some local exceptions and in the Diputació de Barcelona). How will this change of ground affect the politics of alliances after the municipal ones, especially in Barcelona?

Pere Aragonès and Salvador Illa come out reinforced from this chapter. Although Illa affirms that it is not a legislature pact, no one escapes that Pedro Sánchez's script until the generals needs a calm Catalonia, something that the PSC will not go against, even if it gives the Republican Executive some ritual bump on the head. If there are unforeseen twists, they will be those derived from the judicial situation of Carles Puigdemont.

Aragonès has been guided by the principle of necessity, by the lesser evil and by the ethics of responsibility. A day of swallowing toads in exchange for more resources and more time. No lesser objective: to reinforce the image of ERC as a governmental option capable of managing complexity. Illa, a leader who grew up as a minister during the pandemic, has shown with the budgets to be as tough as he is devoid of charismatic fuss, to project the manager profile with which he intends to become president of the post-procés.

Paradox: the PSC is the formation that today can agree with more different political forces in the Catalan Chamber, but this does not ensure, for example, that its candidate will be able to add the necessary seats to reach the presidency of the Generalitat after the autonomic ones. Faced with the budget agreement, some – especially Junts – have taken the scarecrow of the tripartite, ignoring that history never repeats itself, although sometimes it plays parody. By the way, of the two tripartites, PSC and ERC came out weak and battered.