This Wednesday, Pere Aragonès received an unexpected recognition from the businessmen of the Cercle d’Economia who, through its president, Jaume Guardiola, thanked him for his willingness to listen and discuss the economic situation of the country, in contrast to some of his predecessors. The outgoing president coincided at the opening ceremony of the Cercle conference with the candidate to replace him, the socialist Salvador Illa, and the impression they gave was that the former seemed liberated and happy, while the latter appeared more pressured while being harassed. and persecuted by many of the attendees.

Aragonès must be recognized, as the Cercle did this Wednesday, for the dignity with which he has exercised the presidency of the Generalitat. Surely there are criticisms to be made, such as his sit-ins with the King, his refusal to attend the conference of presidents or his attending a Bildu rally in the Basque Country, skipping the courtesy visit to the Lehendakari. However, he knew how to serve as president of all Catalans without renouncing his independence essence. In his speech this Wednesday he stated satisfied that he left the Administration of the Generalitat better than he found it, but he did not know how to respond later to the reasons for the electoral debacle suffered by his party.

Guardiola, in his opening speech, once again called for “mainstreaming” and avoiding “bloc politics” with a view to the future government in Catalonia, although he gave the impression that he was preaching in the desert. Businessmen want consensus.

Already mentally on the way out, Aragonès was very clear when he warned that the welfare state in Catalonia is at risk due to the precarious situation of the Generalitat’s coffers. “Either there is a significant agreement on financing or Catalonia of eight million will not be able to pay it,” he stated. Illa, on the front line, took good note, aware that this is going to be one of the thorniest issues in his government, in case he becomes president. Pasqual Maragall and José Montilla also battled in their day over this issue before friendly socialist governments. “The fight is the fight.”