Unease over repeat of coalition in Catalonia

7th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

7 November 2006, BARCELONA — Across Spain there was unease over the formation of another three-party coalition government in Catalonia.

7 November 2006

BARCELONA — Across Spain there was unease over the formation of another three-party coalition government in Catalonia.

The reason is this form of government has in the past had repercussions on national politics.

The Catalan branch of the nationally governing Socialists has chosen to align with the leftist-nationalist ERC and the Green-leftist ICV-EUiA instead of with the centre-right Catalan nationalists of the CiU, which gained the biggest share of the vote in last week's elections for the regional parliament.

National leaders of the Socialist Party had signalled a clear preference for a tie-up with the CiU in the wealthy north-eastern region.

Indeed, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero reached out to the CiU in drafting a revised autonomy statute for Catalonia whose wording was rejected by the ERC, a disagreement that led to the rupture of the Socialist-led governing coalition in the region and necessitated last week's vote.

The announcement of the re-launch of the Socialist-ERC-ICV tripartite coalition has led the CiU, which governed Catalonia between 1980-2003 with Jordi Pujol, to warn Zapatero that he cannot count on its support in the national parliament, where Catalan moderates recently helped push through the 2007 budget.

The CiU has a history of helping prop up minority governments in Madrid, like the ruling socialists, having successively backed the 1982-1996 socialist administration of Felipe Gonzalez and the 1996-2004 conservative Popular Party government of Jose Maria Aznar.

The new Catalan government of leftist groups set to be unveiled on Tuesday will be led by Socialist Josep Montilla - who would become the first Catalan president not born in Catalonia - and will again have ERC chief Josep Lluis Carod Rovira as second in command.

The ERC leader was also second behind Pasqual Maragall in the previous regional government, but was forced to resign because of reports that he met secretly with the leadership of the Basque terrorist organization ETA in France.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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