ERC to change tactics to achieve independent Catalonia

Party aims to generate “most favourable circumstances” to force Spain to negotiate

ERC spokesman, Sergi Sabrià, at parliament on Thursday (by ACN)
ERC spokesman, Sergi Sabrià, at parliament on Thursday (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

May 3, 2018 08:15 PM

The pro-independence party Esquerra Republicana (ERC) is changing the direction of its roadmap toward a Catalan Republic. A “new stage” of its course will be marked by the objective of “generating the most favourable circumstances” to force Spain to the negotiating table. This is the main challenge that is included in the political presentation to be voted on at the party’s conference to be held between June 30 and July 1 this Summer.

ERC wants to avoid setting a time limit to create an independent Catalan state, and have opted to avoid repeating the unilateral route which has led the country to this current stalemate. “We have not reached the summit. We are once again at base camp,” the 54-page document reads, referring to efforts to acheive a free independent Catalonia. 

It is a time of “serious reflection” for the party. ERC is to look at the aspects that need to be improved in a new roadmap in order to create “the best possible conditions for the next confrontation” with Spain.

“Inadequate proportion” of population in favour of independence

The left-wing party has set out some priorities, one of which is increasing the number of those in favour of a Catalan state. The document admits that pro-independence forces represent approximately 50% of the Catalan population, what it states is an “inadequate proportion,” in terms of Catalonia becoming independent strictly through “civic, peaceful, and democratic means.”

In the document, ERC points out that Spain’s “repressive reaction” to the current independence process has prompted the need for a broader response beyond pro-independence sentiment.

“Connect with the diversity of society”

ERC, the second biggest pro-independence force in the chamber after Junts per Catalunya, has also set out to “connect with the diversity of current Catalan society.” As such, it aims to make it understood that the independence process is a “necessarily multilateral” phenomenon.

By using the political potential of its significant parliamentary position as a “springboard,” the party hopes to achieve a “full social majority” in favour of an independent Catalonia. It wants to create “a new story that gives meaning to the construction strategy of the Catalan Republic."

“We cannot fall into the mistake of looking to mechanically reproducing the previous roadmap without taking into account the present circumstances and the current correlation of forces,” it stated.

ERC leader in jail

The president of ERC, Oriol Junqueras is currenly in prison in the Madrid region, where he has been for more than six months. The secretary general of the party, Marta Rovira, is currently seeking refuge from the Spanish justice system in Switzerland.