BARCELONA – After long and difficult negotiations, a coalition agreement is in place in Catalonia. Two rival and separatist parties reached an agreement on Monday. There is concern amongst other parties this separatist regional government could cause more division.
On Monday, May 17, the leaders of Junts per Catalunya and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) announced their agreement. Three months ago the Catalans went to the polls on February 14th which resulted in a clear majority for three parties: Junts per Catalunya with 32 seats and 33 seats for the ERC and the PSC led by the former Minister of Health of Spain, Salvador Illa .
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Yet it became clear shortly after the elections that forming a government would be difficult. The deadline for forming a regional government was due to expire on May 26. However, on Monday May 17 word came out the leaders of ERC and Junts per Catalunya had reached an agreement.
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Because the two parties have just short of a majority in parliament, they want to work together with the left-wing radical Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP), which took 9 seats after the elections. After the announcement of the new Generalitat coalition, the PSC spoke of a “more right-wing regional government that is actually creating more divisions”.
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The Spanish news site La Vanguardia writes the two separatist parties ultimately opted for a coalition to give the people confidence, and prevent the Catalans from having to go to the polls again. The coalition government between Junts per Catalunya and the ERC will be led by Pere Aragonès of the ERC. He became acting Prime Minister of Catalonia after Quim Torra’s resignation.
The fact two separatist parties have joined forces again signifies the pursuit of separating Catalonia from Spain. This is clearly a separatist regional government. While the ERC prefers to engage in dialogue with the national government, Junts per Catalunya is fiercer in the game.