• News
  • President Aragonès: "A firm commitment is needed from the next Spanish government to allow Catalonia to establish the conditions for voting"
DPG Parlament

President Aragonès: "A firm commitment is needed from the next Spanish government to allow Catalonia to establish the conditions for voting"

event_note Press Release

President Aragonès: "A firm commitment is needed from the next Spanish government to allow Catalonia to establish the conditions for voting"

  1. In the third debate on the general policy direction of the Government, the head of the Executive assures that “amnesty is a fact”, but insists that “it is not the end”, but “the starting point”
  2. Aragonès stresses that 60% of the Government Plan has already been implemented and is happy that the social, green, feminist and democratic transformations promoted by the Executive “are all under way and are beginning to bear fruit”
  3. President announces that school vouchers will be reissued next year, and will be extended to secondary school students
Debat Política General{"name":"2023/09/28/14/58/0aa30c11-43c0-45c4-af10-4c10b1e87a64.jpg","author":"Arnau Carbonell","type":"0","location":"0","weight":88892}

The President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, stated, at the beginning of his speech in the third debate on the general policy direction of the Government, that “the term that is now beginning in Spain, 2023–2027, can only be understood as the one that allows Catalonia to establish the conditions for voting”. For this reason, he said, “a firm commitment is needed to find a way for the citizens of Catalonia to decide their future during the next term of office”. “Spain’s next government must open this door and candidate Pedro Sánchez must take note”, he stated.

Pere Aragonès has said that “amnesty is a fact, however much some people get upset, angry, demonstrate or threaten us”. And he expressed his conviction that in the coming months he will receive President Carles Puigdemont, Marta Rovira and the other exiles at the Palau de la Generalitat, as he did with the political prisoners.

“The amnesty will be a reality, it is inevitable”, he insisted, but warned that “it is not the end, it is the starting point”, because, “it does not respond to the demand for sovereignty of the citizens of Catalonia” and “the time has come to open the way for Catalonia to vote on its future””The conflict with the state is one of sovereignty”, stressed the President, who pointed out that “conflict benefits no one, and that is why it has to be tackled and resolved through politics”.

In this respect, the head of the government emphasised that “in the next four years the formula must be found to resolve the sovereignty conflict with the State” and stressed the importance of “reaching an agreement on the conditions in which Catalonia should be able to decide on independence”. He referred to this in his proposal for a Clarity Agreement, which he put forward in last year’s general policy debate and which, he said, “seeks nothing more than to establish the terms, the conditions and the rules of the game so that the citizens can decide and we can resolve the conflict of sovereignty”.

The head of the Executive recalled that, after the last elections to Congress, “Catalonia is and will be decisive, we hold the key to the governability of Spain, and we have to use it”. He added that “Catalonia stopped the right and the far right and that is why this week Mr Núñez Feijóo will fail”. But he urged Pedro Sánchez to “move boldly and decisively”.

Government action

In the little more than two hours of his speech before the plenary session of Parliament, the President described the policies carried out by the Government throughout the term, all of them made with “transformative ambition” and the will “to promote fundamental changes” in order “to strengthen the nation” and to think of “the Catalonia of 8 million people”.

These changes are based on four transformations: social, green, feminist and democratic, which have guided the action of the Executive and which Aragonès noted “are all under way and are beginning to bear fruit”.A task that is part of the Government Plan, which is already “around 60% implemented”.

In this sense, the President highlighted the advances in the social field, with “more employment than ever, more public servants than ever and more public housing than ever” or “the unquestionable progress of renewable energy in Catalonia”.

Aragonès also underlined the good compliance with the 2023 budget agreement, with 371 of its 461 measures already under way and 88 finalised. And he pointed out that “the great challenge of the next budget is to increase the total resources available”, something that involves “correcting the chronic fiscal deficit that the country suffers from”. “Twenty-two billion euros that go to Spain and do not return to Catalonia, the highest figure in history. This is a mistreatment that must be redressed and reversed because it is detrimental to the prosperity of the country and the well-being of its citizens”, he declared.

New measures

In regard to new measures that the Government plans to implement in the remainder of its term of office, President Aragonès announced that school vouchers will be reissued next year, thanks to the good reception they received, and that “they will be extended to secondary school students””We will increase the allocation to 55 million euros to provide school vouchers for the almost 800,000 students in Catalonia’s public education system: 460,000 primary school students and 330,000 secondary school students”, he explained.

Catalan will also be one of the priorities in the Government’s action, bearing in mind that “the language is and must continue to be the pillar of the nation”, but “its social use is declining”. For this reason, the head of the Executive has set as a strategy “to reinforce its role as a social lift, to open up space in the new areas of communication and to advance towards full normalisation”.

In the health sector, he announced that the Government is finalising a plan to guarantee the knowledge and use of Catalan in the Catalan health service, which will be presented shortly. “A plan endowed with staff and a budget that will significantly reinforce the Catalan language training offered to the system’s professionals, so that they can do their work even better”, with the ultimate aim of “guaranteeing the linguistic rights of all citizens everywhere, including in the field of healthcare”.

In the field of education, he has opted to “reinforce schooling in Catalan”, training teachers in the field of linguistic uses and increasing the number of reception classes. He also detailed that a Plan for the strengthening of the Catalan language in the Catalan university and research system is being implemented in order to achieve the normalisation of the language in universities.

Throughout his speech, the president stressed that the Generalitat “has tripled the resources to tackle gender-based violence and support all victims” and announced the imminent approval of the National Plan for the Prevention of Gender-based Violence, which seeks to “promote a profound cultural change”. “The Catalonia of 8 million must be the Catalonia that puts a stop to violence against women once and for all”, he defended.

On the economic level, Aragonès stressed that the Catalan Employment Service will be transformed, with a plan in which “dialogue and social agreement must play a leading role”; a new tourism model is to be presented and the National Agreement for Industry is to be further deployed.

Rodalies was once again the focus of the mobility block, where the president denounced “the daily headache” that it still represents for thousands of citizens in Catalonia. And he noted that “it must be ensured that the handover becomes a reality soon”“Apologies and promises of investment are no longer valid, the improvement of Rodalies requires the complete transfer of the service, the diligent fulfilment of the pending investments and the transfer of all resources for management to be effective”, he said.

With the aim of facilitating young people’s access to culture, the President also announced that the Executive will transform the “Escena 25” initiative, extending the age limit “to 30 years of age” and “multiplying the programme’s cultural activities”.