The PSOE does not share the urgency of ERC to resume the dialogue table between the Government and the Generalitat in the middle of the sixth wave of the covid. The Republicans’ claim is that it meet in January for the third time after that of February 2020 in La Moncloa, two weeks before the start of the pandemic, and that of last September in Barcelona. On Sunday, in his first Christmas speech as president from Catalonia, Pere Aragonès demanded that the table begin to bear fruit next year. The alternative would be to “build alternatives”, that is, a self-determination referendum. An option that, after abandoning the unilateral path, Esquerra defends that it be agreed with the Government. The record of infections in recent days influenced the Socialists to cool down on Monday the possible holding of a short-term meeting.
“The position of the PSOE and the Government is to dialogue, within the constitutional framework, to reach understandings and institutional normality. In this context, I am convinced that a date can be agreed for the dialogue table to meet again, “said Felipe Sicilia, spokesman for the federal executive of the Socialists. Government sources spoke along the same lines: “Technical contacts continue, with discretion so that the dialogue table bears fruit and improves people’s lives. We maintain communication without pause, but without rush. Everyone knows that the only possible path is through dialogue within the Constitution. The Government fully trusts its strategy, which is already serving to regain affection in Catalonia after years of tension. “
The dialogue table is a capital issue for ERC that has caused very tough scuffles with Junts, the other party that is part of the Government. In addition, the party of Oriol Junqueras with 13 deputies in Congress has become an essential ally of the Executive. A powerful reason that the Government has very much in mind, although at the moment everything indicates that the table will have to wait. At the very least, until the latest wave of coronavirus is under control.
“We must preserve the negotiating table, and I announce to you that the next meeting will be in early 2022,” said Mirella Cortés, ERC spokesperson in the Senate, last Tuesday. A roadmap that the spokesperson for the Catalan Socialists, Alícia Romero, already advanced in November: “The dialogue table between governments was launched, now there has to be a second meeting at the beginning of the year. In addition, the bilateral commissions have been set up ”.
The sixth wave has forced the Government to review its calendar. The omicron variant, much more contagious although in principle milder according to experts than the delta, which until December was the hegemonic strain, has altered La Moncloa’s agenda. One of its consequences has been the delay in early February of the presidents’ conference that Pedro Sánchez wants to hold on La Palma. La Moncloa considered that the first face-to-face summit of the Executive with the regional presidents since summer would be in mid-January on the island after the end of the volcanic eruption. The previous one in that format, and not telematics, was in July in Salamanca.
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