Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has unveiled 110 commitments for the upcoming general election – although none of them make any direct reference to Catalonia.
The manifesto of his governing Socialist Party (PSOE) has promised that his party would return Spain to ‘useful politics, addressing real issues’ at its launch in Madrid on Wednesday.
The extensive list set out the Socialists’ plans on education, business, healthcare, gender equality, climate change, rights and Europe, but it didn’t mention the Catalan independence crisis, which is widely considered one of the focused of the electoral campaign.
Outgoing Catalan culture minister Laura Borràs, a leading candidate for pro-independence party Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) in April’s general election, has criticised Sánchez for showing a ‘lack of respect’ towards Catalonia by leaving it ‘invisible’ in his manifesto.
‘The fact that Catalonia isn’t included says a lot about what place it occupies in his priorities,’ Borràs said in a press conference shortly after the announcement.
Two of the proposals would have an impact on Catalonia’s status, the first of which asserts the government’s intention to reform how it finances the autonomous regions if it is re-elected, ‘in order to guarantee equal access to public services throughout Spain.’
Crucially, Sánchez commits to ‘strengthening the autonomous regions model’ instead of introducing more centralization as the right-wing parties are proposing.