The Vice President of the Government and Minister of Economy and Finance, Pere Aragonès, said in a speech to the control session of Parliament this morning that "we must face the reconstruction in terms of progress of society and the economy of the country". Aragonès argued that we must focus on the post-pandemic recovery and ensure that it does not exacerbate social inequalities.
During his speech, he reiterated that it is essential "to give hope again to the young people of this country who, at the best stage of their lives, have seen their projects blurred by the uncertainty caused by the pandemic". The vice-president also spoke of the elderly, whom "we have to get out of social isolation, which is extremely difficult to carry”.
The vice-president also wanted to give a message of hope in the economic recovery: "We are a leading country in many sectors and we can still be in many others. We have made an extraordinary effort in support measures, even though they are insufficient. Because nothing can compensate for the closure of a shutter for weeks, months or for too many hours during the day. What is needed now is to lay the foundations of a new productive model”.
In this sense, Pere Aragonès stressed that the Catalan economy, already very diversified, needs a clear public boost. "Catalonia has allocated since the beginning of the pandemic aid to economic sectors of 230 euros per capita, while the average of the autonomous communities has been 80 euros. This means that it has been three times more. 49,7% of the economic aid from the State has been made from Catalonia, almost 1.800 million euros before 3.600 million in total," he remarked. Aragonés added that "perhaps this amount of aid explains why unemployment in the state has remained constant during the first quarter, while in Catalonia has fallen" to 12,9%.
In response to a total of eight questions from political formations, the vice president has referred several times to the opportunity represented by the European funds Next Generation EU. "Last February we passed a decree law to encourage the participation of SMEs, which the State Government wants to challenge us. I hope that this can be resolved well," Aragonés warned.
The Vice President has unpacked a series of dangers about the execution of these European funds: the orientation of the plan announced by the State Government runs the risk that too many resources are allocated to generate current spending and not to the productive economy; the co-governing of the funds is not being done with consensus with the territories that have to implement the projects; the reforms associated in this plan also have to be shared and discussed; and the ability to execute threatened by the aforementioned possibility that the Constitutional Court ends up deciding on the decree law of February. "I think this is not the way to operate. They have to put tools and flexibility at the service of being able to execute these resources to the maximum. What should not happen is for the Marshall Plan to be paralyzed by the bureaucracy of the State," Aragonés emphasized.
Resolution of the political conflict with the State
Regarding the resolution of the political conflict with the State, Aragonés indicated that "the proposals for a democratic solution to this conflict must be put on the table: amnesty and self-determination. And all the instruments must be put into action as soon as possible”.
The Vice President has denounced the repression, which is exemplified in "the Court of Auditors, the actions of the Prosecutor's Office, which today says it wants to go against the trustees of October 1 who had been acquitted, or also the indictments that are advancing in the cases against Josep Maria Jové and Lluis Salvadó, those of the Court of Instruction number 13. And wish all the strength to the deputy Meritxell Serret for the statement tomorrow. Pere Aragonès stressed that "the 14F made very clear that whatever the country decides, the prisoners should get released from prison and the exiles should be able to return home".