Little by little, new details are emerging on the crucial agreement between the Catalan pro-independence party Republican Left (ERC) and the Spanish Socialists (PSOE) for the formation of Pedro Sánchez's new coalition government in Spain, which ERC rank and file will give their verdict on this Thursday, January 2nd. One of the elements that the Socialists' final offer includes is that the agreement reached after the planned dialogue between Spanish and Catalan governments will be put to the Catalan people for ratification through a vote. This was reported by the newspaper Ara and has been confirmed by ElNacional.cat.
The ERC leadership yesterday spoke out in favour of facilitating the investiture of Pedro Sánchez, for which the abstention of its 13 deputies is required. The last word will be given by the 270 members of the party's national council next Thursday. Party sources have told this newspaper that they do not envisage surprises and expect that Thursday's conclave should ratify the alliance with the Socialists, which ERC sees as "an opportunity for the independence movement."
The initial offer of the PSOE was only to offer dialogue in the context of the existing bilateral commission created to manage issues relating to Catalonia's Statute of Autonomy. After a month of negotiations, the PSOE now accepts the creation of a new space in which Catalan and Spanish leaders will sit down at a table, able to talk about all related issues and with an agreed calendar of meetings.
The results obtained at this negotiating table, which should begin to meet once the new PSOE-Podemos coalition government forms, would be the subject of a vote in Catalonia, assuming the parties manage to find a point of encounter between the minimum demands of each side: on the one hand, acceptance of Catalonia's right to self-determination, on the other, respect for the Spanish Constitution.