Pere Aragonès, Vice-President of the Government and Minister of Economy and Finance, has again called for dialogue, which he said “must serve to achieve the objectives of amnesty, self-determination and an end to repression”. Aragonès said it was irresponsible of Pedro Sánchez to “refuse to talk, impose more conditions and ramp up repression”. “That’s not the way forward, and it’s highly irresponsible.”
In an interview on the programme Els Matins, on the Catalan public broadcaster TV3, Aragonès said: “Yesterday, I went to Madrid to tell them what they sometimes don’t want to hear: that we need a negotiating table to resolve the conflict between Catalonia and Spain.” The vice-president said negotiations should start without any preconditions: “without asking anyone to abandon their position”.
Aragonés said the Declaration of Pedralbes was a good framework for dialogue “because it recognises that there’s a conflict that requires a political solution, one that can only be solved with large majorities”. According to Aragonès, this means “giving the people of Catalonia the opportunity to speak and decide their future in a self-determination referendum”.
In reference to the prospects for approving the Government of Catalonia’s budget for 2020, Aragonès warned: “We can’t go into a third year with a budget carried over from the previous year. Things are already coming apart at the seams.” The Vice-President and Minister of Economy and Finance said not having an approved budget means not being able to prioritise or allocate resources where they are needed, which ends up impacting areas such as health, implementation of the decree on inclusiveness in the school system, the guaranteed minimum income, the Law on Dependency, care of unaccompanied minor immigrants, and hiring of new police recruits.Despite the political context of the last few weeks, Aragonès said he was confident an agreement would be reached: “We have to persist and keep working because everyone recognises the need for an approved budget.”