President Armengol next to Vice-President Barceló during yesterday's parliament session.

07-02-2017Pere Bota

President Armengol yesterday apologised for the poor image and the "show" in parliament last week when the two former Podemos deputies, Xelo Huertas and Montse Seijas, asserting that they were left-wing politicians, ended up taking seats in the public gallery having refused to sit behind the Partido Popular.

"This sort of display is not what the citizens deserve," she said, adding that she did not like the institutional crisis that had been created for parliament and which had resulted in Huertas being removed as parliament's president (speaker). Armengol expressed confidence that a new speaker will be elected at next week's parliamentary session, noting the partners in government are working on this with "dialogue and agreement". She asked for some "patience" on the matter.

The leader of El Pi, Jaume Font, suggested that Podemos were "comfortable" with the crisis. "If this were not so, Podemos would offer another type of support to the government. To govern with unstable parties leads to unstable situations." Font observed that his party has given specific support to the government as it is a party willing to collaborate and provide stability to the executive in arriving at policies to solve the problems of the citizens.

Xavier Pericay of Ciudadanos wanted to know what future there is to the agreements for government (between PSOE, Més and Podemos) because of the institutional crisis. The perpetrators of the crisis, he said, are the government's partners (Podemos). The citizens are now fed up, he suggested. "They can't take any more and demand that this farce comes to an end and is not repeated. Podemos cannot be trusted. It is an unstable party by nature. I'll just tell you that there are other alternatives in this chamber."

Armengol replied that the "agreements for change" of her government have much more to do with the quality of life of the public than with the "shows" that others put on. These agreements, she stressed, were made in response to the needs of society, which wanted policies that returned its rights.

Asked by Marga Prohens of the Partido Popular how the government had been affected by the crisis, Armengpl stated that the problems being experienced in parliament are not affecting the executive. Prohens believed that the absence of a speaker was evidence of the misfortunes of a pact that is not a pact and "of a government over which you preside but not do not govern". She observed that until only some hours before, Baltasar Picornell of Podemos had not been wanted as speaker. "But everything can be sacrificed to let you continue." Prohens proposed that the PP's Nuria Riera should be made speaker, criticising Armengol's preference for "anti-systems which live off the system".

Huertas and Seijas, unlike last week, took their seats behind the PP during yesterday's session.

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