The president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, this Wednesday had to face criticism from all the parliamentary groups, except his own, Esquerra, which supports him in the Catalan Government, for the changes he announced to his executive on Tuesday. The opposition parties have criticized him for acting with “electoral spirit” and for being “more concerned about the campaign than the Government”. This was stated after Aragonès defended the changes before the plenary session and assured that he wanted to avoid the possibility of an early call: “We must work until the last day”.
Aragonès claims his project until 2025
In his brief speech before the full Parliament, lasting about five minutes, Aragonès insisted that they have “a lot of work to do this year until February 2025” and that they will do it “with the roles defined by this stage of ‘opportunities’ and with the aim of ‘well completing the work’ done since 2021. Regarding the appointment of the Councilor of the Presidency, Laura Vilagrà, as the new Vice-President of the Government, the President has stated that they must to the negotiation with the State “with all the recognition, also institutional, to strengthen the different mechanisms”. On the other hand, the head of the executive has emphasized that the appointment of Sergi Sabrià as vice-adviser for Strategy and Communication responds to the need to identify “the roles with the task they carry out”.
The opposition accuses Aragonés of thinking about the elections
Some arguments that the opposition has rejected, starting with the head of the opposition and first secretary of the PSC, Salvador Illa, who has criticized Pere Aragonès being in “electoral mood”, after the changes to the Government announced on Tuesday. “The elections are their priority”, he lamented, while stressing that the changes have been made with “what the candidate needs and not what the Prime Minister needs”. Likewise, he questioned the “stability” of the Government after three changes in three years of the legislature, and recalled that it remains with a minority of 33 deputies in Parliament. Finally, he assured that Catalonia “needs someone who thinks about Catalonia, not about the balance of the party of the president of the Generalitat”, and he added verbatim that the PSC will continue to build an alternative with understanding, an outstretched hand and a useful policy.
The president of the Junts parliamentary group, Albert Batet, who has played the role of a tug-of-war with the president during the control session, has described the changes as “party balances” and has made it clear that “they do not strengthen the institutions, because the respect and the prestige of the institutions is also not to use them in a partisan way with party interests”. For him, appointments such as that of Sergi Sabrià as vice councilor for Strategy and Communication have been agreed “thinking more about the campaign than the Government”. “What was needed was a fundamental change of course in his Government”, concluded Batet.
The electoral argument put forward by socialists and unionists to criticize the changes in Government has been repeated as the different parliamentary groups have appeared. This has also been done by the leader of the commons, Jéssica Albiach, who has demanded from Aragonès “a strong and solid government, and not a government that a year before is already thinking about the next elections” and, in this sense, has asked: ” Are the changes he has made for the good of the party or for the good of the country? Is the campaign committee being set up within the government?” “The last moves they have made lead us to think that because the changes, the only thing they do is to strengthen the Presidency and Communication”, he concluded.
The CUP asks for a turnaround with the Budgets
CUP MP Mar Ampurdanès has assured that the 2024 Budget project is Pere Aragonès’ “last chance” to make a pro-independence and left-wing turn to policies this term. “To do this count on us. To deploy the agenda of climate denialism and to hide the real problems under the carpet, they can agree with the PSC”, he concluded. Ampurdanès has defended independence as the tool to build “a republic at the service of the working people of the country, to guarantee the right to housing, to control the price of basic products and for water and electricity to be public resources to meet everyone’s needs.”
Finally, the leader of Ciutadans, Carlos Carrizosa, has also described the restructuring as “electoralist” and has asked himself: “What use is it, really, for the public that you change Mr. Sabrià from director of your office to vice-counselor?”. Lorena Roldan, on behalf of the PP, has shown her dissatisfaction with the changes in Government because she thought that Aragonès would call elections and save “a year of agony”.