Catalans demand amnesty and self-determination in exchange for supporting Sánchez

by Lorraine Williamson

BARCELONA – Despite the pro-independence camp in Catalonia achieving its worst result since 1982, the 14 representatives from the nationalist parties ERC and Junts have become crucial for the investiture of a left-leaning coalition. 

Especially the representatives from Puigdemont’s party stated on Monday that they are willing to negotiate with the Socialists. However, their stance is very strict, almost unattainable. At this moment, the parties would only support Pedro Sánchez if amnesty and self-determination are granted. They do not even accept a hypothetical pardon for Carles Puigdemont as a bargaining chip, as the Socialists had offered during the campaign. 

Parties feel “not obligated” to choose between left and right 

“We are not here to save Sánchez,” said the party’s secretary-general, Jordi Turull, the day after the general elections. ERC and Junts each won seven seats. Together, they lost almost half a million votes, about 28% of the total in Catalonia. If new elections are held, they believe it won’t affect them. Therefore, they feel “not obligated” to choose between Sánchez and Feijóo. 

However, Junts supporters see an “opportunity” to strive for independence. Junts proposes to restore the unity of action with ERC and nationalist entities. ERC advocates for negotiating the conditions for the investiture of the socialist candidate Sánchez. Junts feels strong and puts pressure on the government leader. “What is he willing to do?” Turull asks. “He already knows what we want,” he added. 

Cogesa Expats

Nevertheless, Junts’ priority is to restore the strategic unity of the independence movement in Catalonia before dealing with Sánchez’s investiture. At this moment, Jordi Turull stated on Rac-1, the “scenario” of abstaining from a possible investiture of Pedro Sánchez is not even on the table. “We are not choosing between repeated elections or not. We advocate for taking advantage of this opportunity and seeing what the state has to offer us,” he said. 

In any case, Junts rejects ERC’s position, which during the campaign set three conditions: negotiation of the fiscal deficit, transfer of Renfe’s Cercanías (regional train services), and the reactivation of the dialogue table between the government and the Generalitat. Junts sees this as supporting Sánchez without getting anything in return. 

Also read: PP wins Spanish elections, yet right-wing falls short of majority 


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