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Spain’s Finance Minister Seeks Support From Junts For Autonomous Community Financing Reform

Maria Jesus Montero sees financing system reform as a potential enticement for Catalan pro-independence party's support.

It is “urgent” and “obligatory”, but also a way to convince Together for Catalonia (Junts) to support an investiture of Pedro Sánchez. This is how Spain’s acting finance minister, María Jesús Montero, has expressed herself about the reform of the financing system for the country’s autonomous communities. This Tuesday she confirmed that the Socialists (PSOE) not only intend to work on this issue during the next legislature – if they succeed in forming a new government – but also, that it could be a hook that will help to fish up the necessary votes from Catalan pro-independence MPs in order to keep Pedro Sánchez in the Moncloa government palace.

In an interview with Spanish public television, the PSOE’s number two reiterated that this reform is “an urgency that must be presented” and that it thus appears in her party’s roadmap for the coming years. But, at the same time, she confirmed that it’s an issue that could be considered as a seductive element for Junts, in order to obtain the Catalan party’s support for Pedro Sánchez in the investiture vote. “We already tried it in the previous legislature, but the necessary climate with the autonomous communities did not exist, because they had maximalist positions”, explained the finance minister.

24 July 2023, Spain, Madrid: Pedro Sanchez, leader of the Socialist Workers’ Party and current Spanish prime minister, greets his supporters outside party headquarters after the general election.It should be remembered, however, that Junts – as well as the Republican Left (ERC) – insist on the need to approve a self-determination referendum and an amnesty in order to guarantee Pedro Sánchez’s continuity as Spanish prime minister. PHOTO BY CESAR LUIS DE LUCA/GETTY IMAGES 

María Jesús Montero reiterated this Tuesday, however, that the demands of the pro-independence parties are unfeasible because they do not fall within the “constitutional framework”

At the same time, Montero also disavowed Sumar, who already announced weeks ago the decision to entrust recently-retired Catalunya en Comú politician Jaume Asens with negotiations with Carles Puigdemont aimed at reaching an agreement that would maintain the coalition government in the Moncloa. “It is the large party, the PSOE, the one that has improved its result in terms of number of votes and seats, which will speak and which has the responsibility to articulate the majority,” she insisted, when asked about statements by the Comuns leader in Catalonia, Jéssica Albiach, admitting that the referendum and amnesty are on the negotiation table between Junts and the PSOE.

Finally, Montero also recalled that what unites the PSOE and Sumar with Junts, ERC, the Basque parties Bildu and the PNV, and the Galician BNG is that they all detest the idea of a Spanish government led by the PP with the help of Vox. “I will continue to demand discretion so that agreements can be reached”, she replied when asked about her party’s talks with Carles Puigdemont’s party.


Produced in association with El Nacional En

(Additional reporting provided by El Nacional En)

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