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PP’s Leader Proposes Investing Illa As Catalan President In Exchange For Feijóo’s Appointment As Spanish Prime Minister

Catalan People's Party suggests a political trade-off to end pro-independence process and reduce influence of separatist parties

The PP’s leader in the Catalan Parliament, Alejandro Fernández, proposed this Wednesday the possibility of investing Salvador Illa, the PSC’s first secretary, as Catalan president, if the PSOE guarantees Alberto Núñez Feijóo’s, the PP’s leader and candidate for Spanish Congress, appointment as Spanish prime minister. During the Questions to the Catalan president held this Wednesday, Fernández addressed Illa to tell him that, after the results of the general election, they have the opportunity “to put an end to the pro-independence process, now that it has less electoral support than ever, and that would mean taking away their influence in Madrid instead of giving them the key to government, and sending them to the opposition”.

The first secretary of the PSC, Salvador Illa (r), applauds during the last plenary session of the legislature, in the Parliament of Catalonia, on 26 July, 2023 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. During the Questions to the Catalan president held this Wednesday, Fernández addressed Illa to tell him that, after the results of the general election, they have the opportunity to put an end to the pro-independence process DAVID ZORRAKINO/GETTY IMAGES 

According to the Catalan People’s Party’s (PPC) leader, reducing the influence of the pro-independence supporters in Madrid would mean the Socialists would have to support Feijóo’s investiture, while in Catalonia —he believes— they should be able to build a non-nationalist alternative”, probably led by Illa. “If he believes ERC and Junts will give him the Catalan presidency as a gift, he has not understood anything. He already won the regional elections and has now obtained a great result, but I fear he will prefer to remain as Pedro Sánchez’s hostage, so he can use him as a bargaining chip with the Catalan nationalists to keep himself in power”, he said. He also assured he “fears Catalan constitutionalism will lose a great opportunity to achieve a non-nationalist government in Catalonia”.

“Historic opportunity to put an end to the Catalan pro-independence process”.

This Wednesday’s morning, on a radio interview, the PPC’s leader assured he sees this as a “historic opportunity” to put an end to the Catalan pro-independence process, seeing as his party has tripled its seats, the PSC has won, and the pro-independence parties have lost MPs, from 23 to 14. Fernández stressed the PP is the party that has grown the most in Catalonia, and added this to the PSC’s “excellent” result. “What I see ahead is a historic opportunity to put an end to the Catalan pro-independence process” as a result of the electoral decline of the “separatist” parties since the pro-independence process began 11 years ago, he proclaimed.

Fernández pointed out that the PPC surpassed ERC and Junts in votes —although not in seats—, which means Catalonia is no longer an “electoral black hole” for the PP, he stressed, after winning six seats compared to the two they obtained in 2019. However, the leader regretted that the PSOE “gives the impression” it prefers to “feed” the Catalan pro-independence process instead of “eliminating it, by being willing to receive ERC’s and Junts’ support for Pedro Sánchez to repeat as Spanish prime minister.

The PPC’s leader criticised the fact that Socialists do not mind “giving the keys” to the Spanish government to the pro-independence supporters, at a time when they are “at their weakest”. In his opinion, Sánchez prefers to remain as “hostage” rather than try out a “non-nationalist” government formula in Catalonia. “Now the numbers are in. For the first time in history, the possibility of a non-nationalist government is opening up to Catalonia. However, Sánchez has already made very clear he wants to rearm someone who is groggy, because the pro-independence movement is groggy”, he pointed out.

Fernández urged Pere Aragonès to reflect, after the PPC obtained more votes in Catalonia than ERC and Junts combined, in the Questions to the Catalan president held this Wednesday. The Catalan president replied they will exercise the responsibility that the citizens have given them in the Catalan government and Parliament, and expressed his conviction that the pro-independence movement as a whole will do the same in the Spanish Congress.

PSOE and Junts will negotiate

While the PP is desperately trying to seize power with impossible pacts, PSOE and Junts will negotiate so that the Catalans allow a possible investiture of Pedro Sánchez. The acting Spanish minister for the Presidency, Relations with Parliament and Democratic Memory, Félix Bolaños, stated on Wednesday that the central government will follow the same formula for Pedro Sánchez’s investiture as it has done until now: “Discretion while negotiating and publicising agreements as they are reached”, he said. Bolaños made these statements at the end of the Spanish Congress Standing Committee meeting, in which the latest anti-crisis decree was green-lighted, when asked about the negotiations with Junts, which are key to forming a majority to invest Pedro Sánchez.

Furthermore, when asked about the possibility that some PSOE MPs could support Alberto Núñez Feijóo’s investiture, as proposed by Vox, he said he considers it “totally impossible”. On Wednesday, Vox’s spokesperson in Congress, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, announced he would not be an “obstacle” to Feijóo’s appointment as Spanish prime minister should he manage to gather the support of some PSOE MPs to guarantee him an absolute majority.

Produced in association with El Nacional En

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