Pere Aragonès this week. / EP

Aragonès sacks his deputy as Catalan coalition crisis grows

The decision was in response to the increasing crisis between the Catalan regional government coalition

SUR BARCELONA.

The president of the Catalan regional government, Pere Aragonès, has sacked his vice-president Jordi Puigneró in response to the growing crisis between coalition partners. The Generalitat has been run since the 2021 elections by two pro-independence parties, Aragonès' Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and Puigneró's Junts per Catalunya.

Puigneró's sacking, announced late on Wednesday, comes in response to Junts' threats to break the regional coalition.

Earlier this week the vice-president had called for a "question of confidence" in the president during a debate in parliament.

Aragonès said on Wednesday that he hoped Junts would put forward a replacement vice-president to help strengthen the government. "I hope that Junts stays in the government," he said, although his party is preparing for their partners' possible exit.

This latest move is a culmination of a number of coalition quarrels. Aragonès considers that his authority has been questioned, just at one of the most delicate moments of this term of office.

In an interview, regional minister Laura Vilagrà ruled out new elections and suggested that Esquerra would rule alone if Junts decided to pull out.

The crisis leaves the make-up of the regional government, the Govern, in the air, just days before the fifth anniversary celebrations of the illegal independence referendum of 1 October 2017.