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ERC leader opens door to dialogue with unionist parties

Amid negotiations with Junts per Catalunya, Esquerra’s Joan Tardà says his party should begin talks with parties opposed to independence



05 March 2018 12:22 PM


ACN | Barcelona

The Esquerra Republicana (ERC) party should try to reach agreement with other left-wing parties, even those opposed to a Catalan republic. That's according to ERC MP in the Spanish Congress, Joan Tardà. Amid the talks with Junts per Catalunya to form a new Catalan government, Tardà is the first ERC leader to suggest that his party look for broad political agreement, including with unionist parties, such as the Catalan socialists. Tardà thus opened the door to a new option for forming a government.

The MP in Spain’s legislative chamber said that "Catalan republicanism should come together with other political forces that support a binding referendum," such as Catalunya en Comú-Podem. Yet, Tardà went further and even suggested that his party should "open channels for frank dialogue with the Catalan socialists," despite their opposition to a referendum.

  • "Catalan republicanism should come together with other political forces that support a binding referendum"

    Joan Tardà · ERC MP

In an article published by the Catalan newspaper 'El Periódico', Tardà warned that "times for resistance will come" should it prove impossible to begin a dialogue with Madrid. In the meantime, the ERC MP urged the pro-independence movement to act "wisely", and he rejected such statements as "Puigdemont or elections" as "very irresponsible".     

Tardà also said that the "intolerance of Spanish nationalism and Spain's lack of a project towards Catalonia foretells a difficult and complex situation." What's more, Tardà accused the Spanish government of taking "retrogressive steps" in relation to nationalities, instead of having "recognized the plurinationality of the Spanish State."

Pro-independence parties "worried" about ERC's proposal

After Tardà's statement, it did not take long for pro-independence leaders to react. The spokeswoman for Junts per Catalunya, Elsa Artadi, stated that pro-independence parties have to build bridges with socialists, referring to the Socialist party voters. Yet she refused to do so with the leader of the Catalan Socialist party, Miquel Iceta, arguing that the Socialists supported Rajoy's executive when applying Article 155 of the Spanish constitution.  

Meanwhile, the leader of the CUP party, Carles Riera, flatly rejected Tardà's proposal. "I am very perplexed and worried about his proposal," noted Riera. Indeed, he stated that ERC should "build bridges" with the pro-independence movement, since it would mean "respecting" the results of the December 21 election.

Catalunya en Comú-Podem urges to put cards on the table

The leader of Catalunya en Comú-Podem, Xavier Domènech, urged pro-independence parties to "put their cards on the table", and stressed that both Junts per Catalunya and ERC are looking for an alternative candidate to Jordi Sànchez. Domènech said that his party will not support Sànchez's candidacy for president, arguing that he would not be able to be sworn in.

The leader of Catalunya en Comú-Podem stated that he prefers a "progressive" president. Still, he noted that his party will not support Oriol Junqueras' candidacy for president either, since he is incarcerated and would not be able to be sworn in as Catalan president.


  • ERC's spokesman and MP in the Spanish Parliament, Joan Tardà (by ACN)

  • ERC's spokesman and MP in the Spanish Parliament, Joan Tardà (by ACN)