Catalan President calls for ‘democratic front’ to stop VOX

Catalan President calls for ‘democratic front’ to stop VOX |

A united democratic front of all pro-independence parties in Catalonia is the only way to stop the surge of the right and far-right, and avoid a pact of all reactionary forces who oppose an independent Catalonia, the regional president, Pere Aragonès, warned Tuesday.

“The time is serious, and Catalonia must be defended”, Aragonès stressed.

After the defeat of the socialist party (PSOE/S&D) in Sunday’s regional and municipal elections, pro-independence parties in Catalonia are on “red alert”: they fear a future Government of centre-right Partido Popular (PP/EPP) and the far-right party VOX, who fiercely oppose any secessionist attempt of that prosperous Spanish region (northeast).

Spain’s acting Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, had paved the way to a new era of dialogue with the Catalan regional government presided over by Aragonès.

He proposed a “conciliatory approach”, light-years away from what his predecessor in the Spanish executive, PP’s former prime minister Mariano Rajoy, did in the past.

After a very serious political crisis in 2017, Rajoy even threatened to suspend the Catalan regional government and take over full control of the Autonomous Community.

A new (and much worse) scenario for Catalonia

Aware that Catalonia must begin to prepare for a “reactionary” PP-Vox Government, taking for granted that the PSOE will lose the general election due on 23 July, Aragonès admitted that his strategy of negotiation and dialogue with Madrid has been for the time being “shelved”.

“We are in a new scenario. We have made progress in recent times (with the PSOE) in a very difficult context. But if the conditions we had to move forward, in this bid to resolve the `political conflict´, were already difficult before, now, faced with a PP and Vox government, it is impossible”, Aragonès admitted.

The President of the Generalitat, whose left-wing party Republican Left of Catalonia (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ERC) has provided so far parliamentary support to the ruling progressive coalition of PSOE and left-wing Unidas Podemos (EU Left), took for granted Tuesday that a victory of the PP, and a coalition PP-Vox, would mean a serious political blow to Catalonia’s pro-independence bid in the future.

To avoid that hostile scenario, Aragonès called on all pro-independence parties to set aside their differences and forge a united “democratic front”.

 Defend Catalonia from the attacks of the far-right

Coinciding with Aragonès’s call for unity, the Spanish Minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz (Unidas Podemos), formally registered the new progressive platform Sumar. In April, Díaz announced she was running as a candidate for prime minister in the general election with the new left-wing formation, likely also in a “united front” with Unidas Podemos and other smaller progressive parties.

To stop the right, Aragonès urged pro-independence JxCat, the CUP and En Comú Podem, to “find the mechanisms” to act with “unity” in the face of what will be a “frontal attack against the basic pillars” of Catalan self-government and the values of the Catalan society.

JxCat presented Monday (29 May) to ERC a proposal to run jointly in the general elections on 23 July. However, Aragonès declined to explain what he really meant by creating a “democratic front”, which, in his view, the parties will have to discuss later, he said.

But he did hint that it should serve to guarantee stability in “governance” in Catalonia – the ERC now leads the government without partners and is in a parliamentary minority – and form pro-independence and pro-sovereignty alliances in Catalonia’s local councils.

(Fernando Heller |

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