Two weeks after the electoral appointment of 23-J, the meetings between formations to reach an agreement and to be able to form a Government of open constitution. In the case of ERC, the deputy general secretary and spokesperson for the Catalan party, Marta Vilalta, has assured that they will maintain a “reasonable, responsible, but at the same time demanding” position in the negotiation for the investiture of Pedro Sánchez, although she has announced to the PSOE not to accept “blackmail”.
This was stated in an interview with EFE, in response to the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, who last Thursday urged the pro-independence forces to lower their “maximalist” positions in the negotiation to invest Sánchez. “If Pedro Sánchez and the PSOE want to govern the Spanish State, they must respect Catalonia and the demands that we make from the Catalan independence movement and from the ERC,” Vilalta stressed.
In his opinion, “it has been sufficiently proven that ERC is a reasonable, responsible actor, but at the same time demanding”, so Sánchez “will have to move” if he wants to reach an agreement. “What the PSOE cannot do is face this negotiation as blackmail: either you vote for me or the extreme right will come,” warned Vilalta, who is part of the negotiating team appointed by ERC for the investiture talks.
ERC, he has insisted, does not defend “maximalist positions”, but calls for a “democratic resolution of the political conflict between Catalonia and the State”. Therefore, according to Vilalta, “the PSOE must assume democracy” and “lay the foundations so that Catalonia can decide its collective future through a referendum, which is an absolutely democratic instrument used by all the democratic states of the world to resolve the most relevant issues. Faced with those who claim that a self-determination referendum cannot be agreed upon because it does not fit within the Spanish Constitution, he has opined that “it does fit within the legal framework”, as long as there is “political will”.
Ask not to be afraid of the “extreme right”
“The art of politics is being able to reach agreements to resolve conflicts and unfair situations. We are not talking about breaking the legal framework,” said Vilalta, who recalled that “the Spanish State itself has signed international treaties that speak of the rights of peoples to self-determination”. What the ERC asks of the Socialists is that they “be ambitious and assume democracy, that they are not afraid of this more extreme right that cries out against individual and collective rights and incites Catalanophobia.”
Vilalta has celebrated that the general elections of July 23 have become “necessary” the votes of the 14 deputies of ERC and JxCat in Congress. “This gives us a strength, a lever that we want to use, that we have to know how to take advantage of and that it is an important opportunity to defend Catalonia,” argued Vilalta, who considers that the ERC uses are “assumable” if there is “political will” .
A key to “build solutions, not block”
ERC’s price for Sánchez consists of two blocks: on the one hand, it calls for “resuming negotiations to resolve the conflict” -with “an amnesty to end the repression” and advances “to be able to hold a referendum”- and, on the other On the other hand, it raises issues that arise in the “daily life of citizens”, such as the transfer of the management and resources of Cercanías or solving the “fiscal deficit” of Catalonia. Faced with those sectors of the independence movement that defend “blocking” the investiture and forcing an electoral repetition, he has opted to use this “key” to “build a democratic solution to the conflict.”
“We have to put this strength that the citizens have given us in the 23J elections at the service of building solutions and defending Catalonia, not at the service of the blockade, which does not solve the political conflict, nor does it serve to end the fiscal deficit, nor to improve the situation of Catalan”, he reasoned. However, “if Pedro Sánchez and the PSOE are absolutely intransigent, they do not move and play blackmail, they will not find us,” Vilalta has warned.