Last night, the President of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, held a press conference to announce a renewal in the unity pact “to guarantee the continuity of the political process for the National Transition and ensure its success”.
The Chief Executive announced the recovery of this “atmosphere for accord” after meeting with the president of Esquerra Republicana (Republican Left of Catalonia), Oriol Junqueras, and the presidents of the main civil society organisations supporting independence; Carme Forcadell from the ANC, Muriel Casals from Òmnium Cultural and Josep M. Vila d’Abadal from AMI.
In last night’s press conference, Artur Mas informed that the outline of this pact included an agreement to advance Catalan Parliamentary elections for after the summer of 2015. As President of the Generalitat, Artur Mas decided to hold early elections on September 27th, a date which he qualified as “emblematic” and “symbolic”, as it will coincide with the first anniversary since the signing of the Decree calling for a Consultation.
During the round of talks maintained with the various leading political and civil society representatives, an agreement was made to have “separate [candidate] lists with a shared road-map which will be included in the electoral programmes” announce the President.
During his intervention, President Mas highlighted the importance of working together in order to “create a common culture of harmony and effort” so that the culmination of the political process results in triumph. In this regard, Artur Mas, was disappointed about “the deterioration of atmosphere for accord” and assured that he was also “hurt” by how “we could fracture an atmosphere which was built in such a positive way” during the first twenty months of his term in office.
This “restored unity”, the President highlighted, made the “reaffirmation of the legislature’s accord”, signed two years ago, possible. It also “prioritises social and education agenda”, placing special emphasis on the Government’s plan against poverty, specifically energy and child poverty.
2015 Budget Talks renewal
Regarding the budgetary issue, in one of the accords the Chief Executive announced he would “immediately reengage talks and negotiations to assure the Government’s budget for 2015 can be approved”. “In this sense, we will try our hardest to ensure there is an atmosphere of understanding” revealed the President, emphasising how the budgets should be set in order for the country to work correctly in the upcoming months.
The conversations also served, as the President maintained, to decide, “set up and culminate the relevant State structures” which were convened in the legislature’s accord, as well as “the entire legislation needed to make them possible”. “State structures” which, the President assured, are “basic for the National Transition” and do not only affect the laws, but all internal regulations surrounding the Government of Catalonia.
In addition, Mas also explained his decision to conclude the remaining laws which are currently being debated in Parliament. “The approval of these laws”, the President stressed, “are of the utmost importance” for the correct functioning of the country, both economically and socially, citing the Law on Professional Formation, the Law on the Catalan Public Employment Service Reform and the Law on Bureaucratic Simplification as examples of this. This legislative agenda would also include Local Administration so that “we may have our own national instruments and not have to depend on the central structures in Madrid to focus on the upcoming Catalan elections” declared the President.