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Opposition criticizes government reshuffle and demands early election

Torra's cabinet accused of being over and in "agony" due to the PDeCAT-JxCat conflict

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03 September 2020 05:46 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

The five opposition parties agreed to criticize the reshuffling of the Catalan cabinet, which was announced by surprise on Thursday morning.

Despite their differences, they all sent similar messages, accusing Quim Torra's cabinet of being in "agony" and over, as well as demanding a snap election.

The home affairs, business, and culture ministers were replaced, with none of the opposition parties believing the official reasons given for the move including dealing with Covid-19 or strengthening the government in the event Torra's possible disqualification.   

The five parties believe the crisis stems from the conflict between PDeCAT and its breakaway party, Junts per Catalunya.

Àngels Chacon, one of the sacked ministers, was the only one who chose to remain in the PDeCAT party while four other pro-independence center-right bloc cabinet members quit the party to join Carles Puigdemont's new political force, Junts per Catalunya (JxCat).

Unionist Ciudadanos: reshuffle not to help people, but independence cause

Lorena Roldán, the parliament spokesperson for the main opposition party, Ciudadanos, said that the reshuffle was not made "to handle the second wave of the pandemic or to help the lives of the Catalan people, but to be loyal to the separatist cause."

Torra replaced three ministers "to keep those more loyal to the cause," she said, foreseeing "problems with the law, justice, and democracy."

Socialists: elections "as soon as possible"

As for the leader of the Catalan Socialists, Miquel Iceta, he called for a snap election "as soon as possible."

"It is not time to extend the agony of a bad government which no longer has a parliamentary majority," he added.

For him, the reshuffling does not aim to "improve" the government, but is the result of a partisan move, referring to the PDeCAT-JxCat split.

Conservatives: government is done

The People's Party believes that the government "is over, as Torra said in January" – indeed, the Catalan president announced a snap election because the coalition had reached "the end of the road," but Covid-19 altered his plans.

The conservatives said that the reshuffle only means "extending the agony of the government" and criticized the selection of all three new ministers: Ramon Tremosa, Miquel Samper, and Àngels Ponsa.

Anti-austerity CeC-Podem: enough with thinking of parties and not the country

The anti-austerity Catalunya en Comú-Podem also opposed the move and called on not "extending the agony" of the cabinet.

For its leader, Jéssica Albiach, the change is a maneuver "to purge PDeCAT and prepare JxCat for the campaign."

She called on the authorities to "stop thinking of parties and think of the country."

"The country needs an election to face the social and health emergency."

Far-left CUP: reshuffling won't help to deal with "national and social crisis"

For pro-independence far-left CUP, the reshuffling won't solve the "ineptitude" of the government to deal with "the national and social crisis."

MP Carles Riera said that Miquel Buch should have been sacked earlier due to the home affairs ministry and the Catalan police's "repressive policy."

He also agrees with the other groups in saying that the move is the result of the conflict within the center-right bloc.

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  • Lorena Roldán, Ciudadanos' spokesperson in the Catalan parliament (by Gerard Artigas)

  • Lorena Roldán, Ciudadanos' spokesperson in the Catalan parliament (by Gerard Artigas)

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