The reaction was not long in coming. Yesterday the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) presented demands to the government of Pere Aragonès on their conditions for supporting the Generalitat's budget and the PSC proposal raised eyebrows in some quarters. One of the first and most scathing to denounce its content was Eulàlia Reguant of the pro-independence, far-left CUP, who has always criticized the fact that the governing Republican Left (ERC) has opted, in her opinion, for the Socialists and the Comuns as preferred partners when reaching agreements on areas such as budgets, instead of the CUP, even if ERC always denies it. Specifically, the CUP spokesperson in Parliament criticized this proposal, which highlights projects such as the Hard Rock leisure development and the expansion of Barcelona Airport, which she called "backwards steps" in a tweet.
"Yesterday, the PSC made public its proposal for the budget: climate denialism, the employers groups' agenda, and the assumption of the discourse of the right and the extreme right over Catalan foreign policy. Proposals that are backward steps. Inequalities, another time", Eulàlia Reguant lambasted on social media, a position that is not new since the deputies of the CUP have always been opposed to the expansion of the airport, which was already considered during 2020 and finally discarded; and the Hard Rock project in Tarragona. In addition, the PSC's document also reiterates to the government its view on the importance of the B-40 highway, better known as Barcelona's quart cinturó, or fourth beltway.
What does the PSC demand?
This Wednesday, after days of negotiations, Salvador Illa's party sent president Aragonès what they consider to be "key elements" that will need to be included in the budget approval project, which currently only has the support of En Comú Podem while the government is also continuing to negotiate with Together for Catalonia (Junts). "They are common sense proposals and I cannot imagine that the government of the Generalitat will not accept them if it is true that it wants a budget for next year", assured the Socialist spokesperson, Alícia Romero, who pointed to Aragonès as the person responsible for moving the project forward. Romero refused to talk about ultimatums, but given the parliamentary arithemetic - with the budget only currently supported by 41 MPs when a majority is 68 - the 33 seats in the possession of the Socialists give them a strong position. Until now, these "unrelinquished" proposals of the PSC had not been raised in the negotiations.
The Hard Rock "budget"
Apart from the expansion of the airport, the planned Hard Rock leisure complex, near Salou, has always been one of the major red lines of the CUP, but also of fellow left-wingers the Comuns, even though the latter party was the first to make a deal with Pere Aragonès over budget support. For this reason, after the agreement was made public, Reguant herself questioned whether the deputies of En Comú Podem would be able to approve "the Hard Rock budget" if the government reaches an agreement with PSC or Junts, since both of these parties back it. In addition, she also criticized that in the Comuns-ERC agreement, there are no "transformative measures" or initiatives to control prices and economic planning. For all that, she declared that her party's position is still closer to ful rejection of the budget bill, even though they are in favour of some specific measures agreed between the Comuns and ERC.