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  • Socialist Party confirmed it had reached an agreement with the ERC for a dialogue over Catalonia, however did not mention their potential abstention at the investiture vote.

    Socialist Party confirmed it had reached an agreement with the ERC for a dialogue over Catalonia, however did not mention their potential abstention at the investiture vote. | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 January 2020

The Socialist Party and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya agreed on the abstention of the separatist block while opening dialogue on secessionists’ wishes for Catalonia, which would then be submitted to a citizens’ vote in the northern region.

After months of dialogue with the Government, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) finally decided it would abstain during the Spanish parliament’s upcoming vote to confirm Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez as prime minister, potentially ending the prolonged national political deadlock.

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This move would end the unstable political situation which ruled the country throughout 2019, with two inconclusive elections. The investiture votes will happen between January 4th and 7th.

Socialist Party needs the Catalan separatist block to at least abstain to secure its confirmation in office, by committing to an open dialogue on secessionists’ wishes for Catalonia, which would then be submitted to a citizens’ vote in the northern region.

Pere Aragones, ERC vice-president, informed during a press conference they would push for a new independence referendum in conversations with the central government.

Communication on the agreement reached with @Esquerra_ERC for the creation of a Dialogue, Negotiation and Agreement Table between the Government of Spain and the Government of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

Spain has struggled to maintain stable governments since 2015 when a slew of smaller parties sprung up in the wake of the financial crisis, leading to four elections in as many years. This time to avoid recurring again to the polls, Sanchez has been scrambling to drum up support for a proposed coalition with left-wing party Unidas Podemos.

Leaders of both parties, Sanchez and Iglesias, confirmed that their coalition would push for tax hikes and a rollback of a labor reform by a previous conservative government. The most recent election in November left the two parties with a combined 155 seats, short of a majority in Spain’s 350-member lower house, and thrusting ERC and its 13 representatives into the role of kingmaker.

Thanks to the Republican family for their maturity, work, commitment and always standing up. As @perearagones said: "We are not seeking party victories, but a country gain and a lead: a referendum, an amnesty and an end to repression"

The Socialist Party confirmed it had reached an agreement with the ERC for a dialogue over Catalonia, however, it did not mention their potential abstention at the investiture vote.

Spain’s constitution prohibits regions from breaking away and the Catalan independence drive in recent years, which included a banned referendum in 2017, has caused the country’s worst political furor in decades.

If Sánchez Government happens, it will immediately promise the King it will comply and enforce the Constitution. Without delay he will form his Cabinet, which is already finalized, then the PM will make public the composition of the Council of Ministers, with seats for socialists, independents of the orbit of the PSOE and members of Unidas Podemos. It is very likely that the first Council of Ministers will be held on Friday, January 10th, as indicated by government interlocutors.

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