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The agreement reached by the Catalan government with its Spanish counterpart to expand Barcelona's El Prat airport is the last straw for the CUP. Today, the party's candidate at last year's elections, Dolors Sabater, stated that her party "strongly opposes" this and warned ERC that with policies like this it is "breaching the agreement" made by the two parties to facilitate a pro-independence government under ERC's Pere Aragonès. In fact, the CUP statement also criticised an “attitude of renunciation” from ERC with regard to Catalan self-determination.

Sabater pointed out that the stability of the legislature is in the Aragonès government's hands, and depends on its ability to comply with what it agreed to, as no generic “stability agreement” was made. For this reason, she says that the "red line" of CUP support will be determined by ERC with its proposals and at the moment "it is not complying". Speaking in an interview with Catalunya Ràdio, she reminded Pere Aragonès that if he is president it is "thanks to the votes of the CUP" - her party's nine Catalan MPs provide the pro-independence coalition with its parliamentary majority. 

The budget and the dialogue table

On the question of the far-left party's support for the next Catalan government budget, Sabater explained that the draft is not yet on the table and she will not be able to decide their opinion without knowing their general approach, which she asked to see. "Are we talking about a commitment to public transport or to the agricultural and livestock system? We don't yet know." Therefore, she asserted that "the only essential aspect for the CUP is to know if this budget reflects the spirit of the agreement and its small print."

She also gave the benefit of the doubt to the dialogue table on the Spain-Catalonia political conflict, which is due to meet in mid-September. Sabater recalled that "we do not believe in it, but the margin must be given", referring to the agreed time of two years' to allow negotiations to mature. However, the CUP notes that all that is being said from Madrid is "no to self-determination and no to amnesty." She made it clear that "those who believe that our independence demands will disappear in exchange for investments in projects that aggravate climate change must understand clearly."

Accordingly, the CUP deputy directed her irritation at the expansion of the airport, as well as the proposed Pyrenees-Barcelona candidacy for the 2030 Winter Olympics and the agreement to rescue the Circuit de Catalunya motor racing venue to the tune of 19 million euros. In fact, she affirmed that these are instances in which ERC is breaching the investiture agreement between the two parties, and she reminded them that their one-off parliamentary support will depend on whether it is maintained or not.

Regarding the expansion of the airport - and just two days after the UN warned of the risk from the world's climate emergency and its already irreversible effects - the deputy recalled that to reduce emissions, the first step is to reduce the number of flights: "If they are clear that they want to fight climate change, we cannot expand the airport," she said, while calling for investments in other infrastructure such as commuter trains.


In the main image, Dolors Sabater during a speech in Parliament / EFE