Read in Catalan

Tuesday's meeting between the Catalan president, Quim Torra, and the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, left on the table an opportunity to approve the budgets of the Catalan government and the Catalan capital's that both parties should take advantage of after Colau's public offer. Summing up, the mayor's proposal consists of an exchange of support in the Catalan Parliament and in the Catalan capital's municipal government, given that the government teams in both administrations lack a sufficient majority to approve the budgets on their own, without external supports.

Colau has taken a step forward and they need to hold it to her word, even when the latest experiences were rather frustrating for the Government; vice president Pere Aragonès already tried last year and was refused despite the fact that a green light to the public accounts would have been essential to improve a whole series of social services that could not be increased without it. In fact, the last Catalan budgets that were approved were those of 2017, mainly thanks to a tactical move by president Puigdemont who linked them to a motion of confidence when he won the support of the CUP. In the last ten years, however, the budgets were extended four times.

In Colau's four years of mandate, only once has she been able to approve the budget by plenary, although she has taken them forward through a motion of confidence in which to form an alternative majority was impossible. In any case, although both administrations need to approve them, the situation of the Generalitat is more urgent and, in practice, more difficult. So much so that Torra and Aragonès should both  try with En Comú (Colau's party, the Catalan Podemos) -history invites us to be skeptical- like with the CUP -exploring the margins of their new roadmap is a must.

If this is not viable with either party -En Comú or Cup-, then the path of the Catalan socialists PSC will remain to be explored -as its leader Iceta has already invoked. The latter is a thorny itinerary. But the obligation of any ruler is to avoid being shut out by their own actions and to explore all the options available, even the apparently impossible ones, and the socialists are on this list if what is at stake is the improvement of the quality of life of their citizens. The worst would always be not having the budgets approved.