Oriol Junqueras and Pere Aragonès - ACN
Oriol Junqueras and Pere Aragonès - ACN

The Leader of Esquerra Republicana Oriol Junqueras—still a political prisoner—and the Vice-President of the Catalan government Pere Aragonès, call for a collective strategy for reconstruction and attainment of the Catalan Republic in a joint letter published in newspaper La Vanguardia

Letter published in La Vanguardia

The political leaders begin their letter with a call to overcome the immense challenges, both global and national, arising from the Covid-19 crisis with an unequivocal commitment: “we must demand as much responsibility of ourselves as energy, as high-minded as we are firm in our convictions.” This commitment, they affirm, must go “from our local communities to Brussels”, although they explain that it will not be an easy path. “The personal, health and economic scars are many and deep. We have seen this in the confines of health and in the economic difficulties of many families and of our very productive fabric.”

According to Mr Junqueras and Mr Aragonès, carrying out this reconstruction must be of a transformational calling, and in Catalonia in particular, “before the dilemma of Spain’s intractability,” we must “opt to build the foundations of the Catalan Republic.” And they continue, “The reconstruction agenda cannot be grasped without an agenda resolving the conflict between the Spanish State and Catalonia. As a country, we need to respond collectively for our economic revival and to the will of the citizens of Catalonia to freely decide our political future.” In particular, they emphasize that “the crisis cannot make us forget amnesty and self-determination.”

As a country, we need to respond collectively for our economic revival and to the will of the citizens of Catalonia to freely decide our political future.

At a time when negotiations to resolve the political conflict between Spain and Catalonia have been stalled, both leaders agree to demand the reactivation of the dialogue in this sense, “the negotiating table is essential” while enjoining the Spanish Prime Minister to convene the next meeting. “Pedro Sanchez cannot hide and pretend that time will resolve the political conflict.”

The seven priority pivots for recovery in the Republic

To move from recovery to Republic, amongst other proposals the two leaders call for the reactivation of the negotiating table or a reconstruction plan endowed with €30 billion for Catalonia from the European reconstruction funds. In addition, they list Esquerra’s seven priority pivots to make this strategy possible; strengthening public services to build a modern welfare state; reconciling work with personal life; reclaiming the territory and moving towards a balanced, networked land; staking on renewable energies and commitment of zero waste; recovering culture as the impetus for a free, committed citizenry; and building a broad path to independence, to a Republic of rights and liberties.

This strategy “must bring together the multifarious and diverse Catalan society” and “must start with the will to come to agree; of cooperation and not competition.” And they emphasize that this plan “must not neglect that we are here to build a free, just, diverse, prosperous, clean and feminist Catalonia”.