Pedro Sánchez by no means considers lost the battle with Junts over the vote on the three royal decrees approved by the Council of Ministers before Christmas, but, just in case, he has also prepared plan B, an extraordinary call by the Council of Ministers to stop the disruptive increase in VAT in the event that among the measures that decline is the rule that includes the extension of a good part of the tax reductions approved due to the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.
In these last few hours, Moncloa is directing all its efforts to try to divide Junts, and since this match yesterday the message was already being sent to some of its most trusted interlocutors that perhaps a way to contain the damage had to be found, in the that would enter, for example, the route of amendments and the processing of decrees, or some of them, as bills, once they have been validated.
This is not, in any case, the official message of Carles Puigdemont’s party, nor can it be directly linked to the former president of the Generalitat, still a fugitive from Spanish Justice. His message, in the face of the “pressure maneuvers”, was that “neither carrots nor blackmail, from anyone.”
Sánchez’s representatives are pushing for the amnesty in the final stretch of the negotiation, in the midst of the process of amendments to the law being processed by Congress, and they are also winking in public at issues as hot as Puigdemont’s demand that the return to Catalonia of the companies that were “exiled” during the “procés”. Puigdemont demands that the sanction be reached, while the Government talks about incentives to promote that path back.
The Government crosses its fingers and says it maintains its confidence, although at the time of going to press it was not yet in a position to ensure that it has guaranteed the simple majority it needs to carry out the anti-crisis decrees. Sánchez’s negotiators have been involved at the highest level, and have even brought in some national mediators, trusted by Puigdemont. The official message from Moncloa is that he is willing to amend the decrees, once they have been validated, and also facilitate the return of companies to Catalonia.
The other most controversial point, Junts’ demand that the judges’ hands be tied so that preliminary rulings and appeals against the amnesty law do not slow down its application, is also on the negotiating table. “We have absolute confidence that the decrees will be approved and that is why we work until the last minute.” The negotiation has two sides, the one that both parties recognize in public, and the one that is being carried out with the greatest secrecy, and that also affects the amnesty law and other issues that have more to do with the “national question.” .
The debate on the voting of these decrees has raised the fight between ERC and Junts, with exchanges of statements between the spokesperson of the Generalitat and the escaped former president himself. If ERC insists that the decrees are necessary, and criticizes the gestures that endanger the resources that must reach everyone, Puigdemont settled the debate with the statement that his party does not accept pressure from anyone “It is not the first time that We warn you, but it seems that the Christmas break has softened the memory of some and it must be strengthened.
This tense countdown to the legislature’s first vote sets the stage for the coalition’s legislative activity. As a symptom of where the solution to the crisis may come from, in the same way that Junts spoke yesterday of exploring the path of amendments, the Government also began to see the incorporation of Junts changes in the decree laws as feasible, but, in no case, from the Popular Party.
The possibility of reaching an agreement with the PP has never really been on the Government’s work table. It is a hare that they have released to divert the focus to another place other than the negotiation with Junts, and to be able to generate noise with the message that Alberto Núñez Feijóo’s party does not behave like a responsible leader: the mantra of Moncloa’s communication is that it does not assume its obligation to help carry out measures that are useful for citizens. But this agreement is political fiction. For the Government because it would mean breaking with its partners. The majority of the investiture is not compatible with opening paths of understanding with the PP in a surreal exercise of the so-called variable geometry.
And for the PP too It is unfeasible to collaborate with the Government to facilitate it to carry out the measures that its partners do not support.and give it stability, while the next day President Sánchez continues negotiating with the independentists the review of the territorial model and the amnesty in the bilateral tables created for this purpose, one of them based in Geneva and with international verification.
By the way, the management being carried out by the leader of the popular parties, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has earned the support of his territorial power. Yesterday he had lunch with his barons, after the National Executive Committee, and the conclusion is that the “no” to the decree laws has been a success, and to present proposals on what is beneficial for the citizens.