Sánchez tries to unlink the singular financing of Illa’s investiture

Pedro Sánchez recapitulates. The President of the Government is now trying to disassociate from the negotiations for the investiture of Salvador Illa the proposal for “unique” financing for Catalonia that he himself introduced into the equation of courting ERC. Without explicitly conditioning both extremes, the head of the Executive took care last Sunday in an interview in “La Vanguardia” to wink of complicity towards the Republicans, recognizing their role in the stabilization of the Catalan political situation – pardons and amnesty through – and vindicating the relationship between the PSC and ERC as an alliance for the future. White and bottled.

It is impossible to abstract from the context of these statements – with the window of opportunity to make Illa president open – and from the recovery of the commitment to recognize a financial “singularity” for Catalonia that was established in its investiture agreement. However, the melon of regional financing is a very sensitive issue, with a model that has expired for a decade, and whose political instrumentalization has generated practically unanimous resistance. Just as the amnesty as a counterpart to maintaining power produced rejection in a part of the opposition and increased polarization, this issue has put all actors on a war footing, in a certainly transversal closing of ranks, which runs from the socialist federations even the partners who make up the majority of the investment.

The Government was already trying to distance themselves yesterday, returning the negotiation to the Catalan sphere, after first María Jesús Montero and then Sánchez who burst onto the scene. This attitude was evident in the Government control session, where Sánchez tried to disassociate his commitment to recognize the financial “singularity” of Catalonia from the talks to invest Illa. The president recalled that he already assumed “the commitment to reform the regional financing system and recognize the singularity of the people of Catalonia” at his investiture. “That is what I have agreed with ERC and it is the commitment that I am going to fulfill during this legislature,” said the head of the Executive, who extended this eventual agreement also to Junts, his interlocutor at that time. “Therefore, we are not talking about the investiture or not of Illa, we are talking about this Government having that commitment with the different parliamentary forces,” he stressed.

This is how Sánchez responded to the Junts spokesperson, Míriam Nogueras, who warned the president that “the financing of the Catalans depends on the General State Budgets and not on an investiture.” A reminder that Sánchez’s intention to approve new accounts for next year will depend on the votes of Carles Puigdemont’s party. “It seems that he has forgotten,” Nogueras snapped. Everything is interconnected. The Government refused to present the PGE for this exercise when the electoral advance was triggered in Catalonia, aware that in a scenario of an electoral campaign and a struggle between ERC and Junts for the hegemony of the independence space, they would not support the accounts.

Now, in Moncloa they remain firm in their vocation to present the Budgets for 2025, yes or yes, the safe passage for the legislature, but the horizon is once again marked by Catalonia. By the month of September, which is when the Treasury wants to have the project ready, the sudoku of governability will have been resolved: whether Illa is president or if there is a repeat election on October 13. If there is a return to the polls, the accounts will have to wait because the arithmetic is so tight that any imbalance would derail the sum.

The coming into play of Catalonia’s financial “singularity” to attract ERC has caused a dispersing effect on the rest of the investiture partners. Parties such as Compromís or Chunta Aragonesista have already warned that if differential treatment of this region is advanced, they will not feel concerned by the investiture commitments and will abandon the progressive majority. Any change in financing with the status of law will necessarily have to go through Congress and this means that the numbers are not given. There is no closing of ranks in the socialist federations either. Leaders who are not very suspicious of breaking the official line, such as Adrián Barbón or Luis Tudanca, have already raised their voices to show their opposition.