Catalan Government spokeswoman warns CUP: “Confidence is non-negotiable”

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Barcelona (CNA).- Catalan Government’s spokeswoman, Neus Munté, warned radical left pro-independence CUP that “confidence is non-negotiable” in relation to their demands to meet with Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, in order to tackle the vote of confidence that the President will submit himself to on the 28th of September. In an interview with RAC1 radio, Munté considered it “inappropriate for CUP to set the pace and conditions of the vote of confidence”and urged them to “facilitate” the launching of the pro-independence roadmap. Munté also pointed out that the current stand-by situation is partly because of CUP’s rejection of the budget bill for 2016. The Catalan Government’s spokeswoman statements respond to CUP’s repeated demands to meet with Puigdemont before the vote of confidence and agree on the next steps to take in order to start the disconnection process from Spain.

“Please, let’s work together on what depends on us and stop clogging up the works”, stated Munté in reference to CUP’s pressure to meet with Puigdemont before guaranteeing their vote in favour of the Catalan President and also before negotiating the budget bill for 2017. The Catalan Government’s spokeswoman insisted that “confidence is something which is or isn’t there” but “it is non-negotiable”. On the other hand, what is indeed negotiable is the budget for 2017. “We are here because the bill for 2016 wasn’t passed, a bill which continues to be essential for launching social measures”, she emphasised. According to Munté, the extension of the bill for 2015 that CUP’s refusal forced the Government to apply affects both the Government’s national and social goals. However, Muntéstated that “there is still time” to negotiate the budget for 2017 and that these talks “will be accelerated in September and led by the Catalan Government’s Vice President and Catalan Minister for Economy and Tax Office, Oriol Junqueras”. 

Regarding the upcoming vote of confidence, Muntéinsisted on the President’s will to meet with CUP and also with other parties in the Parliament, such as the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and alternative left alliance ‘Catalunya Síque es Pot’and do so “by the end of August” or “during the first week of September”.

A “complex” relationship

Regarding the relationship between the two pro-independence parties in the Parliament, governing cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’and CUP, Munté admitted that “it has had its ups and downs”. However, she is hopeful that both parties have learnt from past mistakes and avoid certain situations happening again, such as prolonging the negotiations until the very last moment. The most representative example of this was the disagreement over who would be the next Catalan President. After the 27-S elections, CUP insisted on their veto against former Catalan President and ‘Junts pel Sí’ candidate, Artur Mas, despite ‘Junts pel Sí’ being the winning party at the ballot box. After two failed investiture debates and right when the time was about to expire and new elections would have had to be called, Carles Puigdemont was invested as the new President.