O PSOE, led by Pedro Sánchez, and the ERC, led by the president of the regional government, Pere Aragonès, had already announced on Tuesday an amnesty agreement for those involved in Catalonia’s attempt at self-determination that culminated in a unilateral declaration of independence in 2017 .
On Tuesday, the two parties said they would reach a global agreement in the coming hours for ERC deputies to vote in favor of Pedro Sánchez’s reappointment as prime minister.
The agreement was closed and formalized today with the signing of a document by the socialist leader and current minister of the Presidency of the Government, Félix Bolaños, and by Oriol Junqueras, president of the ERC, former vice-president of the regional executive and one of those convicted in the process of 2017.
“PSOE and ERC have signed an agreement within the framework of Pedro Sánchez’s investiture process”, announced the socialist party in a message published on social media that includes images of the moment of signing the document, in Barcelona.
According to sources from both parties, in addition to the amnesty, the agreement also includes the transfer of the management of suburban and regional trains in Catalonia to the responsibility of the regional government, as well as issues related to the financing of the autonomous community.
Amnesty is the demand made by Catalan parties to enable a new left-wing government in Spain, with a coalition of the PSOE and the Somar platform, led by Pedro Sánchez.
In addition to the ERC, amnesty is demanded by Juntos de Catalunya (JxCat), the party of the former president of the regional government Carles Puigdemont, who has lived in Belgium since 2017 to escape Spanish justice.
To be reappointed as prime minister, Sánchez still needs the vote of deputies from three more nationalist and independence parties in Galicia and the Basque Country (Galician Nationalist Bloc, Basque Nationalist Party and EH Bildu).
The agreement with the ERC is the first that the PSOE closes with the parties it needs to make the new Government viable through parliament.
In the last legislature, the ERC had already made the current Sánchez Government viable by abstaining from the vote to investiture the Socialist leader as Prime Minister.
If there is no new prime minister appointed by parliament by November 27, Spain will have to repeat the elections.
The PSOE and ERC agreement is “for the investiture of Pedro Sánchez and to guarantee the stability of the legislature”, said minister Félix Bolaños, at a press conference this afternoon in Barcelona.
Bolaños argued that the Spanish and the Catalans in particular voted “for dialogue” on July 23 and it is in response to this ballot mandate that the socialists negotiate with the Catalan parties.
The amnesty “will return to politics what should never have left politics” and “the obligation of strong democracies” is “to improve coexistence where it has fractured within the framework of the Constitution and the law”, he added.
In addition to the amnesty, the PSOE agreed with the ERC to “deepen political dialogue” within the scope of the “dialogue table” opened between the Government of Spain and the regional executive in the last legislature, said Bolaños.
In the last legislature, the Spanish Government pardoned nine convicted independentists, who were in prison, and changed the Penal Code, for the benefit of other people accused by the courts who have not yet been tried.
At the same press conference, the leader of the Socialist Party of Catalonia, Salvador Illa, stressed that “the vast majority of Catalans are betting on a total reunion”, in reference to the results of the July 23 elections, which the PSOE won in the region.
“Catalan society has turned the page” and it is time for the parties to start doing the same, said Illa, who argued that there is also now in the Spanish parliament a majority of representatives of all Spaniards “who approve this”.
Oriol Junqueras, in a separate press conference, argued that with the agreement signed today “Catalonia is the winner”, because it can continue to advance on the path to self-determination, as well as in terms of more financial resources and autonomous management.
According to the ERC leader, the amnesty agreed with the PSOE will cover people with legal proceedings related to Catalonia’s self-determination since at least 2014.
“It is an investiture agreement and the continuity of the legislature will depend on maintaining the will to reach agreements”, he stated.
[Notícia atualizada às 17h44]
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