Despite doubts about whether the elections will be held on 14 February, the Catalan Parliament has been dissolved since 22 December and this Wednesday the first Permanent Deputation was held - the small body that governs the chamber when elections are called - for the Government to explain the current coronavirus situation. The vice-president, Pere Aragonès, has stated that "difficult weeks" are coming due to the increase of the infections and has asked for the collaboration of all the parliamentary groups and of Madrid in order to face these.
As he did last week, he has demanded the State to grant direct aid to the economic sectors affected by the restrictions, in addition to making teleworking compulsory to reduce mobility, since only the Spanish Government can decree this.
The Vice-President has placed vaccination at the heart of the fight against the pandemic, since he has said that only when there is sufficient group immunity will it be possible to return to normal life. In this sense, he has admitted "logistical" difficulties in starting the vaccination, but has stated that now the Government has a "good pace" in this area.
After Aragonès, it has been the turn of the Minister for the Presidency, Meritxell Budó, to take the floor; and she has made a review of the current restrictions and has insisted on keeping the "balance" with the economy, which means, as she has said, that the Government of the Generalitat needs the State to intervene too. "It is neglecting its functions", Budó lamented, defending that, in her opinion, the Catalan government is injecting money directly into the affected sectors according to its possibilities. "The State is injecting zero euros into the affected sectors", Budó said, adding that it has not reduced the tax burden on businesses.
"The Spanish government is not taking measures to balance the economy and health, the Catalan government has to juggle", the Minister for the Presidency criticised.
Budó has defended independence because, according to her, if Catalonia were a republic it would have had "more tools and resources" to fight the crisis.
The groups and subgroups will take turns to speak for twelve minutes each. After the Government's response, they will also be able to speak for five minutes. Today, Parliament is also expected to validate several decrees, all related to the health crisis.