The PSOE has closed ranks in Aragon with We can and the nationalists to require the central government to negotiate and sign a bilateral financial pact, that recognizes to this community an economic framework differentiated from the rest of the autonomies with which to “reinforce” self-government. The quadripartite Executive chaired by the socialist JAvier Lambán he has just proclaimed that this demand is a “priority” for the barely 19 months remaining in the legislature, and after years of severe escalation in public spending that has triggered the Community’s debt.
PSOE, Podemos, the sovereignists of the Chunta and the PAR, the four partners that make up the Lambán Government, met this Monday to commit to approving the 2022 budget bill “and setting priorities.” Before there is a budget project, which has not transpired, the four parties have already assured that they will support it in a unitary way. And, as for the «priorities», they have included the demand for a bilateral economic-financial agreement with the State, which places Aragon halfway between the communities of the common system and the privileged provincial systems of the Basque Country and Navarra.
The demand that the Government of Lambán has launched this Monday is not new and, in addition, it is recognized as a right in the Statute of Autonomy which was approved in 2007, with the approval of the PSOE and the PP. But, until now, it has not gone beyond being a mere hypothesis, without practical consequence. But the alliance between the PSOE of Lambán with Podemos and the Aragonese nationalists has given renewed wings to that aspiration that, so far, no central Executive has substantiated.
At the same time, the Aragonese Government again speaks of “Continue to strengthen self-government”, although without specifying exactly what it refers to, if it aspires to expand the competence framework and, if so, in what matters.
What is clear is that both ideas are launched as ingredients of the same strategy: reinforced self-government and financial bilaterality with the State. The third leg pointed out this Monday by the regional Executive is, at the same time, to negotiate “fair regional financing that guarantees the adequacy of the Community’s resources.”
Lambán already launched the same demand a couple of years ago, in January 2020, on the eve of the pandemic. Now he takes up that autonomist discourse against Sánchez. He does so hours after being re-elected, this weekend, leader of the Aragonese socialists, and while preparing a budget for 2022 that will once again break the record for public spending in Aragon. In the six years that the PSOE of Lambán has led the Government of Aragon, it has indebted this autonomous community by 2,353 million euros. Lambán has been bragging about a “new culture of spending” for years.