The Vice President of Catalonia’s Government demands crash measures from the Spanish government “for the economic emergency today” and denounces, before the President of the European Commission Spanish the repression of the pro-independence movement
“Catalonia wants to be among the champions of European reconstruction.” Catalan Government VP Pere Aragonès was very clear at the Spanish regional leaders’ conference—also attended by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen—where he demanded from the Spanish government that “Catalonia manage the part of the European funds it is entitled to. It is essential,” he said.
Mr Aragonés made a “positive evaluation” of the European fund for economic recovery from the pandemic caused by the coronavirus. So much so that he stressed that the proposal is “diametrically opposed” to that of 2008: “It is time for a policy with a vocation for transformation” and therefore demanded that Catalonia’s Generalitat government manage its share of European fund: “We have the experience, the skills and we have done the job. In July, we presented a plan for economic recovery and social protection, which will disburse up to 31.7 billion euros,” the Vice President reported.
During the conference, Mr Aragonés also asked Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez for “crash measures in the economic field, a rescue plan for today’s emergency, such as the tax moratorium we have already called for to aid the sectors most affected.” The measures “require, by dint of magnitude, action from the administration that collects the taxes, the administration that deals with the European Union and that has the capacity to issue debt and sets the level of debt of us all; and that is the government of Spain,” he said. Furthermore, Mr Aragonès insisted that this direct aid was essential, and that if Catalonia were already an independent state, “as we wish, we would already have distributed it.”
The way to resolve this conflict is not by continuing with repression, but with more democracy, which is how political conflicts are resolved within the European UnionPere Aragonès Vice President of the Catalan Government
The Vice-President also recalled that “the evolution of the pandemic conditions everything we do. We must be aware of the health situation we are in, there are already 2,017 patients admitted to hospital for Covid-19.” Mr Aragonès stated that “the health system’s capacity to respond may be compromised in the coming weeks, so measures such as those we have taken, like the nightly curfew, are imperative,” he said.
Condemnation of the repression of the pro-independence movement by Spain
Beyond the economic aspects, Vice-President Aragonès began his intervention at the conference by addressing President von der Leyen, condemning “the unjust disqualification of the President of the Generalitat, Quim Torra, for demanding the release of the prisoners and the return of the exiles.” Mr Aragonès also explained to the President of the European Commission that Catalonia is a nation of Europe, “that we feel part of the European project and we want to be a full part of it, as a member state of the European Union,” and that the way to resolve this conflict “is not by continuing with repression, but with more democracy, which is how political conflicts are resolved within the European Union,” he concluded.