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With less than a month till Spaniards go to the polls for the snap general election of July 23rd, the heads of the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) list, Gabriel Rufián and Teresa Jordà, have held a press conference to set out the progress made by the party in Madrid over the last four years. These range from the pardons of the nine jailed pro-independence leaders, "if it weren't for ERC's strategy, the political prisoners would still be in jail", exclaimed former Catalan minister Jordà; to the increases in pensions, the minimum wage and the legislation on universities, science and the audiovisual business. A job that, as Rufián explained with regret, they often had to do alone, without the support of the other Catalan pro-independence parties in Congress, referring to Together for Catalonia (Junts) and the Popular Unity Candidature (CUP): "My feeling is that for four years we have been playing on an 'away ground' and very much on our own; surrounded by people shouting comments from the stand while nibbling sunflower seeds. We ask them to come down onto the field with us", reflected the ERC number one, in an extended football metaphor.

During the press conference, Rufián was repeatedly asked about the possibility of having to invest Pedro Sánchez as prime minister after the elections of July 23rd, and he insisted that this is an increasingly "hypothetical" possibility. However, he reiterated that what the Catalan independence movement must do if this scenario presents itself, is that the parties should set a "higher and agreed-upon" price, which would pose a dilemma for the PSOE but also for Sumar: that is, either Catalonia or Vox". Having said that, he then warned that one of the possibilities that is talked about much less is for the Socialists of the PSOE and the conservative People's Party (PP) to reach an accord to avoid having to make deals with the pro-independence groups or other parties. "It's not that we are allergic to Pedro Sánchez, it's that they have always done it. His plan A was to govern with Albert Rivera or Inés Arrimadas. And week by week ERC and EH Bildu managed to force the PSOE to agree with the parties to their left". In this regard, he asserted that the important thing was not to give more strength to the Socialists in response to their claim for a "useful vote" against the ultra-right: "If they can, they will make an accord with the PP".

Voting ERC means "fighting fascism"

Along the same lines, Rufián also called for a massive turn-out for the 23rd July elections, in the face of a call by part of the independence movement for abstention to demonstrate their anger with all the parties. "It is important to vote in these elections, which are much more than [just a vote]. Human rights are at stake," he affirmed. For this reason, after reviewing the milestones that the party has achieved in Madrid, he insisted that it was important "that everyone knows what voting ERC on July 23rd means. We are clear about that: voting for us means fighting fascism​".