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Spanish and Catalan socialists will create a committee “to tackle their relationship problems”

The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and its partner in Catalonia (PSC) will create a committee made up of members from both parties to “tackle their relationship problems” and resolve the situation “as soon as possible”. According to PSC’s leader, Miquel Iceta, the committee will have to “evaluate and review if necessary” the relationship between the  parties, established in 1978. According to Javier Fernández, president of the interim managing committee which has led PSOE since last October, the fact that PSC broke the party line and refused to facilitate Mariano Rajoy’s investiture in October was “not serious” nor “democratic”. Indeed, many members of PSOE want PSC out of the Federal Committee and for them not to be able to participate in the Spanish Parliament. The tension between PSOE and PSC reached its height on the 29th of October during the Spanish investiture debate, when 15 Socialist MPs said ‘no’ to Mariano Rajoy’s investiture, among whom were the seven MPs of the PSC. 

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14 November 2016 06:25 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- Since the PSC, the Catalan branch of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), announced it was going to say ‘no’ to the investiture of the now re-elected Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, tension between the two parties has escalated. Although both groups announced they will stick together, this Monday they agreed on creating a committee “to tackle their relationship problems” and resolve the situation “as soon as possible”. According to PSC’s leader, Miquel Iceta, the committee will have to “evaluate and review if necessary” the relationship between the parties, established in 1978, and make a choice within two months.Javier Fernández, president of the interim managing committee which has led PSOE since last October, the fact that PSC broke the party line and refused to facilitate Mariano Rajoy’s investiture in October was “not serious” nor “democratic”. Indeed, many members of PSOE want PSC out of the Federal Committee and for them not to be able to participate in the Spanish Parliament. 


Meanwhile, PSC won’t appoint any representative to PSOE’s interim committee, which is in charge of the party since former party leader Pedro Sánchez resigned on the 1st of October, after a week of turmoil. According to Iceta, PSC won’t join the committee “until further progress is made in our organic relationship”. Both PSC and PSOE have agreed to find “better coordination” between the two parties in order to avoid new “problems” in the Spanish Parliament.

Disagreement over the concept of ‘nation’

Although PSC’s leader admitted that during the meeting with Fernández “many seams have been sewn together” and emphasised the “firm will” for the two parties to “overcome” the differences, there are still many key disagreements between PSC and PSOE. One of the most important has to do with the concept of ‘nation’. Indeed, Iceta himself admitted that this discrepancy is not “solved”. “We must clarify the terms used by PSC in their meetings”, stated PSOE’s interim committee’s president, Javier Fernández. In particular he wants to make clear “whether they refer to ‘nation’ from a cultural perspective or from a political one”, he added.

PSC bid to reform the Spanish Constitution in order to improve Catalonia’s fitting within Spain and respond to some of its demands, especially those regarding its funding system. “This reform should be based on federalist principles in order to guarantee the singularity of Catalonia, clarify its competences, make clear the funding model and reform the Senate into a real territorial Chamber”, PSC’s leader in the Spanish Parliament Meritxell Batet stated during the electoral campaign for the Spanish Elections. In the 26th of June Spanish Elections, PSC added one seat to their 7 existing in the Spanish Parliament.

Tensions escalate due to Spanish investiture debate

Since the PSC announced it was going to say ‘no’ to the investiture of the now re-elected Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, tensions have escalated between PSC and the PSOE. Although the PSOE agreed at its Federal Committee on the 23rd of October to abstain and facilitate the Conservative People’s Party (PP) to form government, 15 MPs of the party, seven of them representatives from the PSC, broke party lines and rejected the investiture of Rajoy on the 29th of October.  

Among those MPs facing disciplinary action over the vote are the seven members of the PSC, two representatives from the Balearic Islands, one from Castile and León, four backbenchers and two independents. They all voted against the nomination of Rajoy. Pedro Sánchez, the former leader of the party, did not vote as he resigned as deputy and gave up his seat in the Spanish Parliament just before the final investiture vote. 

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  • Javier Fernández, president of the PSOE's interim managing committee shaking hands with PSC's leader, Miquel Iceta (by ACN)

  • Javier Fernández, president of the PSOE's interim managing committee shaking hands with PSC's leader, Miquel Iceta (by ACN)