Potential allies reject Catalan government unity calls
Barcelona mayor Ada Colau and far-left CUP dismiss offer to join unitary government
As the Catalan government calls for a unitary response to the upcoming verdict of the politicians and activists involved in the 2017 independence bid, its only possible allies have moved in the opposite direction
Falling short of a majority in the Catalan parliament, the government coalition partners Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) and Esquerra (ERC) rely on the votes from other parties to implement their political agenda. But their most likely allies, pro-independence CUP and left-wing Catalunya en Comú-Podem (CatECP) have played down all proposals laid bare to date.
President Torra called for “maximum consensus", and the imprisoned leader of ERC, Oriol Junqueras even invited CUP and CatECP to join a unitary government representing “80% of Catalans"—a proposal that both parties dismissed on Friday.
“What’s the goal? What’s the intention?"
Maria Sirvent · CUP MP
“What’s the goal? What’s the intention? We don’t see it [as a possibility],” said CUP MP Maria Sirvent on the prospect of joining the government.
The mayor of Barcelona and the leader of CatECP, Ada Colau, also ruled out any possibility of backing ERC’s call for a unitary executive, claiming that “not even" the leaders of the party truly believe in it.
In recent weeks, Torra also insisted that one of his main objectives as president is helping reinstate his predecessor, Carles Puigdemont. Sacked by Madrid after declaring independence on October 27, 2017, Puigdemont tried to reclaim the post from his exile in Belgium, but all attempts have been thwarted over fears of retaliation from Spanish authorities.
Sirvent asked Torra and Puigdemont’s JxCat party to stop giving citizens’ “false hopes", and reminded them that CUP was the only party that attended parliament on the day Puigdemonet was expected to be reappointed.
And although ERC's Junqueras may be keen on backing a potential unitary government with Torra's party, along with CUP and CatECP, he also rejected Torra's claim on Thursday that rather than hold a snap election in the event of a guilty verdict for the jailed leaders, Catalonia should focus on institutional strengthening.
"Since when has voting weakened institutions?" the jailed politician Tweeted on Friday.