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Things have changed a lot since, on the day after Junts withdrew from Catalonia's pro-independence coalition government and left ERC alone, Oriol Junqueras closed the door on seeking negotiations for the annual budget with the PSC, which was not "committed" to ending the repression in Catalonia. But that paradigm has changed. The Catalan budget is already running very late. The bill still hasn't even been approved by the government in cabinet, and ERC doesn't want to do so until it has a majority. A majority in which the Socialists of the PSC could now play a role. At ERC headquarters they now place all negotiations on the same playing field. "We have all scenarios open with everyone we are negotiating with," say party sources. "Things have happened," they respond over their change of attitude. What's happened in between is an agreement with the Spanish executive over the reform of the sedition law. In any case, party spokesperson Marta Vilalta made it clear that they hope to reach "principles of agreement" in the coming days. But they steer clear of setting deadlines.

At the moment, the economy ministry has negotiations open with Junts, the PSC and the Comuns. With the last-named the talks are more advanced, but the will is to "accelerate" and "intensify" conversations with all possible allies. "We are in a process of open negotiations, especially with the Comuns, Junts and the PSC, and we appeal to the responsibility of all of them", defended the spokesperson and deputy general secretary in the press conference after the party executive's meeting this Monday. Although she did reiterate that Junts and Comuns are the priority partners, the difference is that the Socialists have now been included in the possible equation.

ERC are proposing to speed everything up, because time is beginning to be short, but they avoid setting a date. "There are open negotiations with exchange of documentation and proposals, and we hope to have the principles of agreement in the coming days or at the end of the week", insisted Marta Vilalta, who reiterated that they want to have the budget finalised "as soon as possible". Calling an extension to last year's budget remains a possibility, but every time it is mentioned, the voice is softer and softer.

No news on misuse of public funds offence

With the Spanish state budget being passed in Congress at the end of last week, Marta Vilalta's press conference today began by taking pride in the "work done in the last few days on the Madrid front". In this regard, she highlighted the new investment execution mechanism, with the transfer of 900 million euros to the Generalitat of Catalonia, which will allow "the works to become reality" - given the recurring problem of infrastructure investment which is allocated to Catalonia by the state but the works never get underway. She also highlighted having extracted Spanish government resources for Barcelona's Metropolitam Transport Authority (ATM) and the audiovisual hub Catalunya Media City. Asked about the possible reform of the crime of misuse of public funds, she assured that "there are no new developments" and that they prefer to be prudent during the parliamentary processing of the reform of the Penal Code. She also lamented that they have no news regarding the reform of certain other problematic areas of Spanish legislation: the notorious "gag law" and the housing law.