“We try to govern from the opposition”

PSC leader Salvador Illa (La Roca del Vallès, 1966), wanted to run the Mitja Marató de Granollers this Sunday, but he couldn’t due to his political agenda. In red it has indicated February 19, because the one from Barcelona does not intend to lose it. Some 21 kilometers taste like little when compared to three months of budget negotiations. For the head of the opposition, the pact with the Government of Pere Aragonès It represents a turning point in Catalan politics that confirms the failure of the coalition that ERC and Junts forged at the beginning of the legislature. He assures that he is not concerned that his support for the accounts also means extending the life of the Government in a minority of Aragonese and, therefore, an electoral scenario is far away. In that race, he insists, he is not in a hurry because it is in the background. His bet is “useful policy”to gain centrality with a role of “governing from the opposition” that in no case means guaranteeing the stability of an Executive who considers that, despite having budgets, he is “weak” and does not have “an adequate focus”.

Do you consider the block policy in Catalonia broken?

We are in a different stage. In Catalonia, useful politics is being imposed, which is the one that seeks consensus and unites the Catalans. With budgets, this type of policy takes a very important step forward.

Does the budget pact certify that the ‘procés’ has ended, as President Pedro Sánchez says?

In the second decade of the 21st century, there has been a way of doing politics that strove to emphasize what separates us and the permanent confrontation. Now the citizens ask that, without hiding what differentiates us, we emphasize what unites us and make a policy of consensus. This is what we have done in this budget agreement.

Has the departure of Junts from the Government and the independence divorce been an opportunity for the PSC to gain centrality?

The breakdown of a government never seems good news to me. I said that the formula would not work and we are working hard to build an alternative. The Government was broken, there is a very weak Government and what we have done is exercise our responsibility with this horizon of useful politics and try to govern from the opposition. Being in opposition is not just a job of criticizing or supervising the government’s action.

Does “governing from the opposition” mean more or less cooperation with ERC from now on?

Cooperate, we will cooperate with everyone. Politics is to improve the well-being and life of citizens, the objective is not to defeat a political adversary. Elections are the instrument that should allow you to improve the lives of citizens with your proposals, which is why we want more support to govern from the Generalitat.

Can you say now that you trust the ‘president’?

I have a cordial relationship with the ‘president’ and I have a lot of respect for ERC, as I also have with Junts and the rest of the forces in Parliament. There are things that have cost a lot in this negotiation. I am confident that we are all mature enough for us to comply. In recent days I have spoken more intensely with Aragonès and it has gone well.

“In recent days I have spoken more intensely with Aragonès and it has gone well”

Are you worried that approving the budgets means breathing oxygen into the Government in a minority?

I don’t care or worry at all, what worries me is improving the lives of Catalans and that Catalonia once again be an example of admiration.

Until now he had maintained that with 33 deputies the Government could hardly finish the legislature. Now you can?

Would it be better for Catalonia to have a stable government with sufficient parliamentary support? Of course, who is responsible for making decisions on the matter? Mr. Aragones. He had 74 deputies, now he has 33 and he will have to say what he intends to do. It is true that the budgets are an opportunity for resources that I ask the Government to manage effectively and efficiently in accordance with the sealed commitments. We will be loyal.

Would you be willing to negotiate this stability if the ‘president’ asked you to?

I am building an alternative to a Government that I believe does not have an adequate approach. I am willing to lend a hand, but I think that Catalonia needs another way of doing things. Budgets can be a taste of this way of doing things. It is convenient to have stability and direction, but I am not responsible for the Government’s approach or that it has been broken.

whatThe transfer of ERC with the B-40 Was it a decisive gesture for there to be an agreement?

Everything was decisive. The issue that has focused the most attention has been the B-40 because it was the subject of very emphatic statements by some ERC leaders.

“I am building an alternative to a Government that I believe does not have an adequate approach”

The Comuns have dismissed it as a mere “declaration of intent” infrastructure agreements. Can you guarantee that they will be carried out?

It is what we have agreed. I’m sure. I have been very respectful of all negotiation processes and I ask for the same respect.

For now, there is no explicit budget item for them. Will there be?

We will see that these projects go ahead on the agreed terms.

Can Barcelona-El Prat airport “gain capacity” and “modernise” without the need to expand the third runway, as ERC says?

It seems to me not. What we have agreed is that we will study the options for it to gain capacity. This is essential for Barcelona, ​​for Catalonia and for Spain. The Barcelona-El Prat airport is at the limit of its maximum capacity, around 70 operations per hour, and we should reach 90. Long-haul flights are made by planes that have technical requirements that mean that airports have to have two long tracks. It must operate with the restrictions so as not to harm the quality of life of the residents and respecting environmental regulations.

Does this proposal arouse unanimity in the Government?

Focusing the transformation of El Prat on a dispute in the Government is to deceive ourselves. We have the problem here and we have to agree. That it does not happen to us like with the fourth belt, that we have not decided where it goes for 30 years.

“To gain capacity, the airport must be expanded with the third runway. Long-haul flights need two long runways”

The PSC has made transfers for the agreement. It has been left out that the CEO remains in the hands of Parliament and no explicit mention is made of the closure of the Government’s delegation in Barcelona or of foreign delegations.

In some things we have adjusted to reach an agreement. We have agreed that the entities that depend on the Generalitat will be cut by 10% to make it more efficient. And the territorial delegations must be reassessed. On the fact that the CEO depends on the Parliament, we will make a proposal through parliament so that everyone can speak.

The Government affirms that it maintains the pilot plan of the Universal Basic Income in the accompanying law. You have argued that no. How is this question?

You have to deal with inflation and maybe now is not the time to allocate 40 million to experiment with Basic Income. We have asked that it be stopped and that we do it at another more propitious moment.

Do you see reasons why? Junts joins the agreement as requested by the ‘president’ Pere Aragonès?

I am nobody to speak on behalf of Junts. I respect them, they have a key role in Catalonia.

The general secretary of Junts, Jordi Turull, said that he will not make any governance pact with the PSC and that they, unlike the ERC, will never contribute to the investiture of a non-independence president.

It is his position and I respect it. When the time comes we will make our approach. I want to add, unite. We have different political horizons, but we have had the capacity to agree with this training in other areas. Things are not static in life, in politics or in the economy.

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He is concerned that it enters the imagination of a part of the Catalan citizenry that a new tripartite is coming?

We are in a different time. Those who have governed the Generalitat together until now also speak of sociovergence. We have never governed with CiU and his successors and they have.