Dialogue table, Rodalies management, debt forgiveness: deal for ERC to support Sánchez's PM bid

"Prestigious" figure to be appointed to verify agreements

Spanish presidency minister Felix Bolaños and Esquerra Republicana leader Oriol Junqueras
Spanish presidency minister Felix Bolaños and Esquerra Republicana leader Oriol Junqueras / Catalan News
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

November 2, 2023 07:10 PM

November 3, 2023 12:05 PM

Spain's Socialists and Catalan pro-independence party Esquerra Republicana (ERC) have reached an agreement in the post-election negotiations to support Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez’s bid for Prime Minister

The two parties have agreed to maintain the dialogue table between the Spanish and Catalan governments active, and to create a new one between both parties to "accompany it and facilitate dialogue."  

Spain’s presidency minister Félix Bolaños and the leader of ERC, Oriol Junqueras, explained details of the agreement in simultaneous press conferences on Thursday evening. The agreement establishes that a "person of prestige" will verify the fulfillment of the agreements between the parties.

The deal will also see Spain forgive €15 billion of debt of the Catalan government. 

A new company will be created as part of the agreement, to be managed by the Spanish and Catalan governments, which will oversee the transfer of control of the commuter rail network, Rodalies, from Spain to Catalonia.

Transfer of Rodalies commuter rail control

The agreement recognizes the need for a "comprehensive" transfer of control of the commuter rail service Rodalies to Catalonia, which began in 2009.

The creation of a new company managed by both administrations to oversee the transfer of control is also outlined in the agreement.

This company will be majority-owned by the Catalan government and will be separate from Renfe. It will be provided with the resources currently used by Renfe.    

Forgiveness of €15 billion of debt

The agreement includes a debt write-off for Catalonia of €15 billion, which represents around 20% of the total debt accumulated through the Autonomous Liquidity Fund (FLA). 

ERC president Oriol Junqueras cited that this debt was down to Catalans paying more taxes to the state coffers than the investment made in Catalan infrastructure. 


Among other measures, ERC and the Socialists expect to create a bilateral commission in the first quarter of 2024 which will seek ways to achieve adequate funding to ensure the "financial sufficiency of public services in Catalonia."  

Legitimacy of the independence movement

The two political groups recognize the existence of a "political conflict" and the need to "dejudicialize it" and find solutions "in a balanced negotiating framework" through "political and democratic means."


The agreement seeks to give continuity to the "conflict resolution process" initiated during the last legislature. It refers to a "second phase of the process of dialogue, negotiation and agreement" in which "solutions of broad social and parliamentary consensus" must be found, but "respecting the principle of legal certainty and democratic procedures and orders."

"A respected figure" as verifier

A negotiation space will be set up between the two parties with a mechanism for accompanying, verifying, and following up on the negotiation process and agreements reached.  

The goal is to ensure that proposals brought to the dialogue table are consistently worked on, debated, and politically committed to, and can be implemented during the next mandate. 

A person of "recognized prestige" will be appointed by mutual agreement to fulfill these tasks.