Catalan president presents '4-year' government plan
Quim Torra's executive to launch forum to "set basis" for Catalan constitution and to explain consequences of direct rule in October
The Catalan president intends to make his government last for four years – that is, for the full term – and not calling fresh elections as was rumored in the past few months.
This, at least, according to his "four-year" government plan which he presented on Tuesday afternoon, four months after taking office.
One of the most imminent initiatives the Catalan cabinet intends to put forward include launching the Civic, Social and Constituent Forum, a body to "set the basis" for a future Catalan Republic constitution.
"We want it to be a broad, plural and diverse council," he claimed, while saying that this forum will have seats in all Catalan 'vegueries,' similar to regions.
This authority is expected to be up and running by October 15, and Torra says that he cannot "even imagine" that the Spanish government might challenge such an initiative, as it will be a place "to debate."
In early October, the government will also unveil its first findings on the consequences of the seven-month direct rule period, which ended this June.
The person in charge of the newly-created Political and Civic Rights Office is also due to be announced in the coming days.
"Either we prepare for the society of the future, or we will stay on the sidelines,"
Quim Torra · Catalan president
Around 1,000 government measures
During his press conference, Torra also mentioned some of the nearly 1,000 measures that make up his government plan.
Some of the highlights include a primary health care plan to also identify social problems in walk-in clinics. Additionally, he spoke of transforming culture into a basic social right, such as health or education, as well as launching a national plan to help the nearly half a million disabled people in Catalonia.
Other mentions included fostering public hiring with social purposes, along with implementing the universal health law, which was suspended by Madrid until the new Spanish government lifted it.
Implementing 14 vetoed social laws
Indeed, the universal healthcare law is one of the 14 social laws suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court at the former Spanish executive's request, and only the universal health one has been lifted.
During his press conference, Torra said that his government will implement these laws even if Madrid does not lift its vetoes.
Fighting lack of engineers
A quality work market, gender policies, protecting teachers, a national pact on the knowledge society, displaying plans for industry and promoting young people take scientific, engineering and technological paths are other priorities by Torra's cabinet.
"Either we prepare for the society of the future or we will stay on the sidelines," he said emphasizing the lack of engineers in Catalonia.