Party review – ICV-EUiA, a mix of Greens, Socialists and former Communists

Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds – Esquerra Unida i Alternativa (ICV-EUiA) is a coalition of several political forces, which has 2 main pillars. The main one is the ICV, which is an Eco-Socialist party, and strongly Catalanist. The second one is EUiA, which is a coalition of small pro-Communist parties, linked to the Spanish Izquierda Unida. ICV-EUiA has been in the 3-party governing coalition for the last 7 years. Its current leader is Joan Herrera.

CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

November 22, 2010 10:19 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- ICV-EUiA is a Left-Wing, Green, Federalist and Catalanist force, with some pro-Communism members. It has been in the Catalan Government for the last 7 years, the smallest party in the 3-party ruling coalition. In the last term, it ruled 2 ministries: Environment and Housing, and Home Affairs, in charge of Security Policies and the Catalan Police. There has been wide media and political controversy provoked by several incidents related to the Catalan Police, condemning the Catalan Minister for Home Affairs and ICV leader, Joan Saura. A change of leadership was undergone and Joan Herrera became the party’s Secretary General and the in pectore candidate to run for Catalan President. ICV-EUiA faces a light loss of support despite the controversy and could pass from the current 12 seats in the Catalan Parliament to 10 or 11, according to the latest polls.

Joan Herrera leads the 5th force in the Catalan Parliament. He will also run in the Catalan elections for the first time. Before this try, Herrera was elected twice in the Spanish Parliament, in 2004 and 2008. He was one of the spokespersons of the mixed group. Izquierda Unida, with whom they ran with in the Spanish Elections, got their worst results in history, not being able to form their own political group.

Herrera faces the challenge of guaranteeing a Left-Wing government in Catalonia. In fact, ICV-EUiA is the only force of the current 3-party governing coalition that publicly defends the coalition and would like to repeat it. The other 2 parties, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC), said that they do not want to repeat the formula that has governed Catalonia during the last 7 years. The PSC puts problems in governing with the ERC, as now the ERC is stating that they want to call for an independence referendum. Most of the PSC voters oppose independence from Spain; in fact, many PSC voters consider themselves firstly Spanish and then Catalan or equally both. On the other hand, the ERC only wants to govern with forces that support calling for this referendum in the next term. Both the PSC and ERC currently have programmatic and especially electoral tactical problems to defend the 3-party coalition. On the contrary, ICV-EUiA defends this formula as the only way to have a Left-Wing government and stop the Liberals and the Right-Wing. However, ICV-EUiA suffers from being seen by many voters as the PSC’s “small brother”. This is why ICV-EUiA vindicates its role as a guarantee for a Left-Wing Government, as they fear the PSC or ERC may agree with the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU). All the polls point to CiU as the clear winner of the next elections, just below the absolute majority, which will make them to look for punctual or long-term agreements after the elections. 

ICV-EUiA’s main issues are, firstly, fighting the economic crisis and leaving it behind in a way that the largest corporations pay for it and not private citizens. They want this recovery to be done in a sustainable way, and thus respecting the environment and switching to a sustainable productive model, based on green energy and a mentality of promoting resource efficiency. They oppose nuclear energy, as well as the temporary nuclear waste warehouse that the Spanish Government could locate in Southern Catalonia. They also oppose big infrastructures, such as the 4th highway belt throughout the Barcelona Metropolitan area or the Very High Voltage line through the Pyrenees to interchange energy with France. They want a sustainable economic model, fully respectful with the environment. ICV-EUiA defends civil rights and has made this one of their priorities. They call themselves Feminist, supporting Gay Rights and voting rights for immigrants.