The decision had been announced by the prisoners from JxCat within hours of Pedro Sánchez's speech yesterday, its lack of any reference to Catalonia and apparent lack of understanding between him and Unidas Podemos. "Having heard the debate and with the precedents that come along with the candidate, NO to the investiture of Pedro Sánchez", said Jordi Sànchez, Josep Rull and Jordi Turull in identical tweets. This Tuesday, Laura Borràs confirmed the stance in the Congress, giving the party's arguments: "we have 155 reasons to vote no to his investiture". Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution was the one used by the former government of Mariano Rajoy to suspend Catalan self-governance in 2017, a move supported by Sánchez's PSOE.
It's almost fourteen months since the motion of no-confidence which ousted Rajoy and brought Sánchez to power, thanks to the votes of the pro-independence Catalan parties. Borràs today remined Sánchez of his words at that time, "promising that his government would make dialogue its way of doing politics, would normalise relations between the governments, build bridges, find solutions and force consensuses", as well as "overturn the ley mordasa ["gag law"] and remove Franco from the Valle de los Caídos". Borràs said he hadn't achieved any of this: "You have no credibility, Mr Sánchez, because you haven't negotiated or repealed. If you haven't managed to remove Franco from the Valle de los Caídos, just think in relation to Catalonia".
Today's was the new spokesperson's first speech in the Congress. She decided to start by noting she entered politics after the 2017 referendum in Catalonia to "defend the right to have rights". She then denounced the suspension of the four imprisoned pro-independence deputies, leaving their seats empty. She quoted Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, "the unity of Spain stops being a political project when human rights are violated to defend it".
Although she didn't raise her voice, Borràs pulled no punches with "arrogant" Sánchez. She called on him to "not look for more excuses and come back with his homework done", in other words, to return to the Congress on Thursday with an agreement with Pablo Iglesias and Unidas Podemos. She brought up the result of April's general election, noting that PSOE got 28% of the vote, criticising him for "aiming to be prime minister whilst scorning 50% of the Catalans" from such a position. The spokesperson questioned PSOE's attitude: "instead of charming, they hand out blame; instead of reaching agreements, they push aside; instead of convincing, they pressure; democracy 'made in Spain'".
Whilst he was more moderated with ERC, with JxCat Sánchez didn't bite his tongue. During his reply to Borràs, he said "you have set yourself up in anti-politics and are useless for defending the prosperity and rights of the Catalan people". He expressed regret that Puigdemont has "completely changed" what the former CiU party represented in Madrid for 40 years. He ended with a warning, responding to Jordi Cuixart's comment in the trial that "we'll do it again": "I'm telling you now, it won't happen again". He did, however, again commit to "putting the coexistence crisis there is in Catalonia back on track through dialogue".
The response overall angered JxCat's deputies. Borràs took to the lectern again to call on Sánchez to show "a little more respect for president Torra". "I speak to you with respect and I hope you'll do the same with my president," she said. She also said that while "you called us useless, you haven't shown yourself to be much more useful" and explained that the unilateral path being pursued is the result of the non-existence of bilateral communication.