The forward kick of Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias approving the fifth extension of the state of alarm by the hand of Ciudadanos has shaken the block drawn in Congress since the 2018 censure motion. The rapprochement between the Government and the formation of Inés Arrimadas especially displeases ERC and PNV. But it also bothers United We Can.
Esquerra did not hesitate yesterday to express his discomfort in the form of a threat. “If there is no negotiating table, there is no legislature,” said Republican leader Oriol Junqueras, a prisoner in Lledoners (Barcelona), in an interview on Telecinco. Hours later, Gabriel Rufián, ERC spokesman in Congress, specified the term of the warning: two weeks for the government to choose between Ciudadanos or Esquerra.
Republicans fear that the rapprochement between the Government and Citizens (which has ten valuable deputies in Congress) will end up skirting Esquerra’s “central” position in the Executive’s alliance system. With Sánchez closer to Arrimadas they also consider that the “dialogue table” State-Generalitat that they agreed with the PSOE and Unidas Podemos in exchange for their votes in investiture is in danger. Losing that space would be a humiliation for ERC’s “negotiating” strategy in a Catalan key that Junts per Catalunya would not hesitate to make profitable. A wear that Junqueras does not want to afford with the Catalan elections just around the corner, although not yet dated. “The Government has chosen the easy. We are not afraid of anything because we always abide by our agreements. The one who should fear is the government, because we have seen these days that they sign pacts that they later undo, “Junqueras said.
According to former vice president Carles Puigdemont, Sánchez and Iglesias chose not to back the ERC in the extension voted on Wednesday because the measures proposed by the sovereignists were more social. However, Junqueras denies that at any time a pact was reached with the Executive.
For her part, at the end of yesterday’s extraordinary Council of Ministers, the minister spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, regretted that the ERC voted “no” after entering a dynamic of “impossible negotiation” in the hope that the “responsibility” of other parties “will save overtime.” The first vice president, Carmen Calvo, was the representative of the PSOE in this latest negotiation of the alarm without success with the republican group.
Shortly after Junqueras raised his “ultimatum” with the government, Rufián entered the scene turning the time frame that Sánchez has black on white. It gave him two weeks, exactly the time it takes for the current extension to expire and for the government to have to go back to the Cortes to ask for support for a final extension. «Ten sure votes from the right in exchange for more flags or thirteen republican votes from the left in exchange for more social aid. That is the only dilemma », wrote the ERC spokesperson in Madrid on his Twitter account. “Fifteen days to choose,” he settled.
Esquerra launched his order taking advantage of one of the Government’s weakest moments. His “ultimatum” comes with La Moncloa plunged into chaos unleashed by the sterile agreement with Bildu to repeal the labor reform promoted by Mariano Rajoy in 2012, a pact under the table that also dynamited confidence with the PNV in the face of the next vote. With Sánchez’s authorization, the document was signed by spokespersons Adriana Lastra (PSOE), Pablo Echenique (UP) and Mertxe Aizpurua (EH-Bildu).
In a scenario of parliamentary weakness, the Government played its cards poorly negotiating with the former Batasuna a matter of enormous economic and social significance. He ended up backing down with a statement forced by the economic vice president, Nadia Calviño. In short, the failure of a negotiation that exemplifies the PSOE’s efforts to demonstrate to ERC that it does not depend on its votes, as demonstrated in the extension of the state of alarm. .