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Fallen on deaf ears. PSC's spokesperson in Parliament, Alícia Romero, reiterated on Wednesday what steps the Catalan government must take if it wants to reach an agreement for this year's budget. After the setback caused by the Catalan government's statement published on Monday, which hit the PSC like a bucket of cold water, the same spokesperson has remarked, for the umpteenth time, that the Catalan government cannot ignore the priorities of Salvador Illa's party. Beyond the demands already accepted, the Socialists want "fundamental" projects such as the Hard Rock leisure project in Tarragona, the extension of the airport and the Ronda Nord beltway to be included in the final agreement. And not only that: there are other demands such as the commitment not to open more delegations of the Catalan government abroad, to stop the pilot test of the universal basic income and to create a monitoring commission in Parliament on aid to private media.

These are demands that are already included in the measures presented by the PSC last week, which it had already sent to the Catalan government. Not only that, but Alícia Romero insisted this Wednesday, after a new meeting to discuss the budget, that the Socialists will not approve the budget if the entire package of measures is not accepted. This was also made clear to ministers Laura Vilagrà and Natàlia Mas, who took part in the meeting.

But the reaction of the Catalan government has been the same as always. Despite Romero's warning that the budget could blow up if all her demands are not accepted, Vilagrà herself has decided to play with fire and answered that projects such as the Hard Rock, the extension of the airport and the Ronda Nord beltway cannot condition the negotiation of the budget. This is the same message that the Catalan government has repeated for the last few weeks, and which has not changed despite the PSC's latest warning. Nor has there been any reaction from the Foreign Action ministry, as sources from the ministry have explained to ACN that they do not rule out opening new delegations abroad in 2023, against Salvador Illa's demands.

Despite the clash, both the Catalan government and the PSC remain optimistic

The position of the two parties, marked by the decision not to give in to the other's pressure, is complicating the final agreement. But both the Catalan government and the PSC remain optimistic. Catalan minister Vilagrà assured that this morning's meeting "has accelerated the final stretch of the negotiations" and that she sees no impediments to continuing to make progress and being able to sign the final agreement. For her part, Alícia Romero said that Wednesday's meeting had not led to any notable "advances", and that it was complicated to reach an agreement at Thursday's meeting, but she said she was confident that a pact would be reached next week.