The President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, this Tuesday proposed a referendum agreed with the state inspired by the clarity law, passed in Canada to resolve the Quebec issue, although the government of Pedro Sánchez immediately distanced itself from this idea.
It has also announced a “social shield” of nearly €300 million to help vulnerable families, young people, the primary sector and Catalan businesses, a package of measures to deal with the rising cost of living and the energy crisis.
At a delicate time in the legislature, a few weeks before government partners, JxCat, decide whether there are sufficient grounds to break the coalition due to the lack of progress in the independence process, Aragonès attended the general orientation debate in parliament with a proposal on self-determination.
The proposal consists of negotiating a “clarity agreement” with the state to agree on a self-determination referendum, along the so-called Canadian path, for which it will try to add alliances in Catalonia with political, social, economic and union actors.
The Aragonès Roadmap includes the formulation of an “inclusive”, “scrupulously democratic” and “internationally comparable” proposal, inspired by the Independence referendum agreed between Canada and Quebec or between the United Kingdom and Scotland.
In the year 2000the Canadian government has passed a Clarity Actwhich established that 30 days before the referendum, the Ottawa Parliament would debate whether the question posed by the government of Quebec to its citizens clearly showed that the purpose of the consultation was Quebec independence.
The rule gave the Canadian parliament the power to decide whether the votes obtained by the independents were sufficient to prevail and it was determined that the simple majority was not enough, in addition to specifying matters to be negotiated, such as boundaries, division of public property, national debt, or rights of linguistic minorities and indigenous nations.
In 2013, the leader of the PSC, Pere Navarro, met with former Canadian minister Stéphane Dion, promoter of the clarity law, and although the Catalan socialists abandoned the defense of a sovereignty referendum, in 2016 the then leader of the PSC and now minister of culture, Miquel Iceta, restored the Canadian route as option B if the Catalans previously rejected a federal reform in a referendum.
JxCat, the ERC’s partner in government, has previously been made aware of this proposal, although several of its leaders – some on stage, such as Laura Borràs and Jordi Turull – they barely applauded or did not applaud when Aragonès finished his speech a little over an hour and a half.
The government’s response came shortly afterwards through its spokesman, Isabel Rodríguez, who emphasized that “the path and the path of dialogue” set out at the beginning of this legislature “are bearing fruit”, although the Generalitat maintains “its claims to maxima, which are not shared at all by the government”.
“The framework in which the government moves in its relations with the Generalitat is the dialogue table”, which met at the end of July, where they are “moving forward in the interest of normalization”, the spokesman for the executive branch said in the press conference after the Council of Ministers, after taking note thereof he had not had the opportunity to listen to the Catalan president’s proposal.
For his part, the first secretary of the PSC and head of the opposition in Catalonia, Salvador Illa, has rejected the pact of clarity proposed by Aragonès, stating that the government “is a toy”.
Illa has confirmed that she is in favor of voting for “agreements”, but not for “breaks”, so she is not in agreement with a proposal that “solves nothing”.
The CUP spokesperson in parliament, Eulàlia Reguant, who has labeled the president’s plan “useless”, because “Moncloa didn’t take 30 minutes to rule it out”.
While waiting for JxCat to take a stand, the only ones who have opened the door to study it at this point are the common people, whose parliamentary leader, Jéssica Albiach, reminded that they raised it themselves five years ago.
Vox’s leader in parliament, Ignacio Garriga, is convinced for his part its formation will mimic the triumph of Italian far-right Giorgia Melonito an Aragonès he considers “absorbed” in the face of “insecurity concerns”.