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ERC Calls On Junts To Leverage Independence Movement’s Strength For Better Catalonia Agreement

Catalan Independence Leaders Urge Unity to Advance Amnesty and Self-Determination

The leadership of the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) has once again called on Together for Catalonia (Junts) to take advantage of the “lever of strength” that the Catalan independence movement has because of the Spanish general election results to advance “towards an amnesty and self-determination, and to improve the lives of the citizens”. 

In a letter published in the newspaper Ara, the president of ERC, Oriol Junqueras, the general secretary, Marta Rovira, and the president of Catalonia, Père Aragonès, emphasize that given the strength of the independence movement, it is necessary to reach a good agreement for Catalonia with the investiture of Pedro Sánchez as Spanish prime minister to avoid a repeat election.

Under the title “Fourteen votes in defense of Catalonia”, the ERC leaders together with the deputy secretary and spokesperson, Marta Vilalta, the president of the parliamentary group, Josep Maria Jové, the former Catalan minister Juli Fernández, and the leaders in Madrid, Gabriel Rufián, Teresa Jordà and senator Sara Bailac, all of them members of the negotiating team, emphasize the role of the pro-independence forces in Congress since the election of July 23rd.

“And in a very complex scenario in which, in order to stop the Spanish right, a large part of Catalan society has chosen to support parties which are loyal to Spain, the polls have given the independence movement a new opportunity: the fourteen Catalan pro-independence deputies are necessary for the governability of the state, and it is good news that this is the case,” they said.

Referendum, ‘Rodalies’ and fiscal deficit

Without directly appealing to Junts, the ERC leaders maintain, as they did the day after the elections, that “defending Catalonia means continuing to make progress in the political negotiation that must allow the end of repression and give Catalans a voice so that they can decide, freely and democratically, their future through a referendum”; they also call for the complete transfer to Catalan hands of the Rodalies rail services and end the fiscal deficit. “The more of us there are, the more capacity we will have to negotiate things. If we all row in the same direction, we are much stronger”, said the ERC leaders.

“We are convinced that this is what the vast majority of Catalan society demands of us”, they assert in the letter, committing themselves to doing everything in their power “to reach a good agreement for Catalonia and avoid giving a second chance to the far right, a second chance that neither is something that this country wants to give them nor is it one that they deserve. Let’s stretch our hand in a sincere way to do it together”, said Junqueras, Rovira, Aragonès, Rufián, and the rest of the signatories of the letter

Pro-independence votes, essential

“All votes for the Catalan independence movement are essential, and this forces us to join forces to defend Catalonia. The PSOE must be aware that if it wants to govern its country, it will have to respect ours,” they state in the letter. The Republicans defend that “negotiations with the state must continue” after asserting that agreements had been reached at the dialogue table as well as measures such as the increase in the Interprofessional Minimum Wage (SMI), pensions and the rent cap. 

The signatories admit that much remains to be done in the anti-repressive area and to address the substance of the Catalan political conflict, and they defend that it is necessary to continue with the negotiation with the state, and they point to the pardons of the Catalan political prisoners and the reform of the sedition law in the Penal Code as results of the dialogue with the Spanish government.

Produced in association with El Nacional En

Edited by Priscilla Jepchumba and Judy J. Rotich

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