Socialists support change of ministers, pro-independence CUP rejects it
Ciutadans believes Torra’s cabinet “will not” govern within “democratic framework”
Catalan parties had different reactions to Quim Torra’s change of ministers. While unionist Socialists reacted in favor of the decision, the pro-independence CUP rejected it. At first glance, this might seem out of step with the parties’ narratives, taking into account that the new cabinet will be in favor of a Catalan state.
Yet, the reactions have an easy explanation. The far-left CUP party contributed to swearing in Torra as president, but has repeatedly complained about the mainstream pro-independence forces of taking “backward steps in the creation of the Republic.” And they thing Torra’s move is one more “step back.”
MP Maria Sirvent said on Wednesday that “any backwards step or acceptance does not help to stop this wave of repression.” Another MP, Carles Riera, said that Torra replacing the nominations of ministers in jail or abroad, after Spain’s block is “backing down.” For him, the change of officials is going in the “opposite direction” of implementing the October 1 result.
On the contrary, the Catalan Socialists celebrate the formation of “an effective government” after the “deadlock” of the past few months. Catalonia has been without government since October 2017, after Spain’s takeover. For the Socialists, Torra’s step will lead to “a necessary institutional normalization.”
Still, its spokeswoman said that filing a lawsuit against president Rajoy for blocking the ministers abroad and in jail from being reinstated is “a mistake.” This will be the first decision of the first meeting of Torra’s cabinet, as the president’s office explained on Tuesday.
The main unionist party in Catalonia, Ciutadans (Cs), also criticized this lawsuit. Its leader in Catalonia, Inés Arrimadas, deemed it as another measure “to continue the independence roadmap.” In Arrimadas’ view, Torra’s future cabinet “will not” govern within the “democratic framework.” Another official in the party reiterated Cs distrust of the new nominees, insisting that despite the change in ministers, Article 155 should not be lifted.
The Spanish ruling People’s Party branch in Catalonia celebrated the change of ministers on similar grounds as the Socialists. Yet, its secretary general suggested that this might be a move related to a possible agreement between the Socialists and pro-independence parties ahead of the motion of no confidence against Rajoy, to be voted on Friday.