Pedro Sánchez went to Barcelona this Sunday to push Salvador Illa towards the presidency of the Generalitat. The president has endorsed the message of the Catalan socialists for May 12, which defends his candidate as the only one who represents “the constitutional and European ideal of coexistence in Catalonia.” And he has not left without first attacking the right, specifically the one that gives “lessons in patriotism” while “defrauding the Treasury.”

The advance of the Aragonès elections has flooded the socialist conclave with a climate of electoral race that they hope will return them to the Palau de la Generalitat 14 years after José Montilla abandoned it. To achieve this, Sánchez has delivered a speech at the closing of the congress that has emphasized the socialist strategy to win the 12M: that of presenting itself as the only force with options to win and the will to turn the page on the decade of the procés in Catalonia.

“That is the dilemma. Whether to unite or divide, whether to turn the page or not, whether to move forward or resign ourselves to the litany and decline that Catalonia suffers as a consequence of focusing on other things and not on what is important, which is to dignify public services,” Sánchez stated. This was the lead motive of Illa’s speech on Saturday and it was again on Sunday. “Catalonia will never advance alone, but together,” he stated.

Along with Sanchez, members of the state Executive such as the first vice president and Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, and the Minister of Education, Pilar Alegría, attended the event. It was also the president’s first visit to Catalonia after the approval of the amnesty law in Congress. A milestone that, however, was overshadowed by the Catalan advance, which pushed the Government to renounce the General State Budgets for 2024 in view of a campaign that will confront the socialists with two of their partners in Madrid, ERC and Junts.

Sánchez has once again defended “measures of grace” such as pardons and amnesty. “They are instruments with a clear objective: political normalization. When coexistence wins, economic growth, employment, rights and political stability win,” he has argued.

Against the “permanent stage of exception” in Catalonia

The rally has also served the president to attack the right and the ultra-right, of which he has stated that their patriotism ends up “in their pockets.” “There is nothing more unpatriotic than defrauding the Treasury,” he has proclaimed, and has still insisted, in the midst of controversy in the Community of Madrid over the fraud of the partner of President Isabel Díaz Ayuso revealed by “Fewer lessons of patriotism and more fulfilling the country by paying taxes.”

Just as he has criticized ERC and Junts for looking more to October 2017 than to the future, Sánchez has also accused the right and the extreme right of not having a “project” for Catalonia. “What do you propose? A permanent 155? The dirty war like when they ruled in Spain? “The illegalization of the independence parties?” proclaimed the socialist leader. His project, he concluded, is “the permanent state of exception in Catalonia and Spain.”

“There will be ruptures among some and recentralizations among others,” Sánchez insisted to place the PSC as the only party that defends self-government without independence, before passing the baton to Illa to definitively close the day.

Illa insists on “passing the page”

“Turn the page” and “unite and serve.” These have been Illa’s most repeated ideas after Sánchez’s intervention. The first secretary of the party has urged Catalonia to overcome the pro-independence governments and apply “change with tranquility” to the Generalitat. “Catalonia must get back to things. This is democracy and alternation,” he claimed.

“The Catalans have heard me say that it is necessary to turn the page. And I want to go a little further and explain what it means: turning the page is uniting Catalans, no matter where they come from, no matter how they think, no matter what language they speak, no matter where they live, and no matter what they feel,” he expressed. .

The head of the PSC list has repeated that it is necessary to enter a “new stage”, after 10 years of sovereignty process that “have not worked.” With representatives of ERC, Junts i comuns in the first rows of the room, Illa has claimed to lead a new executive with the aim of strengthening self-government. The socialist candidate has stated that Catalonia will thus once again have “the strength and power it deserves.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *