Spanish president publishes 110 election pledges with no direct mention to Catalonia

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The governing Spanish Socialist Party has unveiled 110 commitments for the upcoming general election – and not one of them makes any direct reference to Catalonia.

President Pedro Sánchez promised his party’s manifesto would return Spain to “useful politics, addressing real issues” at its launch in Madrid on Wednesday morning.

The extensive list set out the Socialists’ plans on education, business, healthcare, gender equality, climate change, rights and Europe, but it didn’t mention the Catalan independence crisis, which is widely considered one of the focused of the electoral campaign.

“Invisible”

Outgoing Catalan culture minister Laura Borràs, a leading candidate for pro-independence party Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) in April’s general election, has criticized Sánchez for showing a “lack of respect” towards Catalonia by leaving it “invisible” in his policy program.

“The fact that Catalonia isn’t included says a lot about what place it occupies in his priorities,” Borràs said in a press conference shortly after the announcement.

Autonomous regions

Two of the proposals would have an impact on Catalonia’s status, the first of which asserts the government’s intention to reform how it finances the autonomous regions if it is re-elected, “in order to guarantee equal access to public services throughout Spain.”

Crucially, Sánchez commits to “strengthening the autonomous regions model” instead of introducing more centralization as the right-wing parties are proposing.