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ERC calls on the government for the dialogue table to reach agreements on the justice front

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The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez (right), and the President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, in La Moncloa on July 15.Alberto Ortega – Europapresse (Europapresse)

The central executive and that of the Generalitat are celebrating a new meeting of the dialogue table this week. Both parties insist there will be “yes or yes” fruits. That was the idea conveyed by Presidents Pedro Sánchez and Pere Aragonès on the 15th after their meeting in La Moncloa. However, everything indicates that the ripening process of these fruits takes time and work. Republicans are urging the Sánchez executive branch to finalize deals on the justice front. The first swords of the ERC, with Oriol Junqueras at the helm, last weekend accused the government of not wanting to reform the penal code, showing an interest in progress in this area. Claiming that there is no parliamentary majority, as Sánchez himself defends, is another excuse Republicans see. Meanwhile, ERC is asking junts who will not be attending despite being part of the government not to obstruct the dialogue table.

The starting positions of the government and the government are very far away. In an interview with this newspaper, the finance minister and new number two of the PSOE, María Jesús Montero, recalled this Sunday that negotiating Catalan independence is impossible and that it is not even talked about in the parliamentary scores: “We have not spoken to anyone about other elements that may be in the portfolio are some games. The independence of Catalonia, for example”. In the case of the so-called “de-judiciary”, the ERC insists that this term is the product of La Moncloa and recalls that it appears as the second point of the so-called Reunion Agenda, the 44-point document that the government wants to channel the dissatisfaction of the citizens of Catalonia. The same sources insist that the government has no semantic problems because the term fits into its proposed amnesty for the dozens of high-ranking officials and citizens who have open cases or related sentences process. The government, in a decision criticized by the right-wing opposition, has already pardoned those convicted des Procés and announced a penal reform, which it failed to implement, to cut penalties for the crime of sedition by half. The central executive now claims that beyond pardons, it is very difficult to define what else it can propose in this section on the premise of acting within the framework of applicable legislation.

The most paradigmatic point of the reform of the penal code, which was already recommended by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, is the reform of the crime of hate speech in order to halve its penalties. It was the crime for which Carles Puigdemont’s former directors of the Generalitat were convicted in a media dispute of embezzlement of public funds. Prosecutors accused them of rebellion, while after the PSOE entered government, prosecutors changed their classification to sedition). Defending the amnesty as the proposal it believes will generate the greatest consensus in Catalonia, the ERC joined the negotiations for this penal code reform. But the criterion now is not to let this time window go unused. “If anyone has other proposals along these lines, they should propose them, but definitely facts and agreements and actions and measures, not just words,” Republican spokeswoman Marta Vilalta said on Monday.

La Moncloa sources already dismissed the possibility of this reform being raised at the dialogue table two weeks ago. The last major work on this subject was done when Juan Carlos Campo was Minister of Justice. The issue has come back to the fore after CUP MP Anna Gabriel appeared before the Supreme Court last week to normalize her legal position after more than four years on the run in Switzerland. All eyes were on ERC secretary Marta Rovira, who also fled to avoid appearing before the judges. In his case, as in Puigdemont’s, a change in the penalties for the crime of sedition could be one of the mechanisms that could prevent him from being automatically jailed if brought to justice. Gabriel’s situation was less complicated since he was accused of disobedience.

Sanchez himself admitted given in an interview The avant-garde in the month of June, who welcomes changes. “We have always defended updating the Penal Code. We need to modernize it and adapt some principles to the democracies that surround us,” he assured. Of course, the head of government reminded that 176 deputies are necessary to achieve this. In an interview with Europa Press this Sunday, Republican leader Oriol Junqueras accused the government of paralyzing reform for “political reasons”. “If there is no mathematical reason, it is obvious that the reason is purely political,” he said, pointing to the majority of the investiture.

This pressure also shows a certain nervousness. On the one hand, they are concerned that the government sees the crisis as triggered Pegasus case Cell phone spying on independents, and tempted to downplay the importance of meeting the dialogue table. Hence, so much work was done to reach a compromise on the working method, which was finally agreed by the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, and his counterpart from the Generalitat, Laura Vilagrà.

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The other issue is the change in the Attorney General’s office. Dolores Delgado’s resignation on ill health raised concerns as Republicans believe there could also be scope in the prosecutor’s work to “remove the togas from politics,” despite the government’s insistence that it cannot issue orders definitely this body. Two of the main perpetrators of the illegal referendum on 1-O, Josep María Jové and Lluís Salvador, are waiting for prosecutors to present their charges so that the Supreme Court of Catalonia can then open an oral procedure against them.

Republicans deny that the idea of ​​a referendum is being sidelined. The cleansing of the judicial front, Vilalta defended, is the first step on “a path that will bring together the majority of Catalan citizens”. Junts took the opportunity yesterday to insist on his rejection of the dialogue table, which he believes has expired and leaves no room for an agreement. In the ERC they criticize this attitude. “We need to get past legalization, so we want our fellow travelers to be involved in these negotiations, rather than putting obstacles in the way,” lamented Vilalta.

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