June 17, 2024

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There is no other way out than to recognise the mistake of making a pact with these pro-independence supporters and take the consequences. It was not just Pedro Sánchez; it was the president of the government, of our government, who had been mocked by a group of disloyal cynics who reneged on what had been previously agreed. The PSOE, whose future is at stake in Catalonia and the rest of Spain, will be grateful. Its voters will thank him and remember how he and his governments have contributed to the smooth running of our country. All citizens of good will who trust in dialogue, harmony, dignity and respect will be grateful.

Truce and Peace (Treva i Pau) Collective, 19 February 2024

Borja Sánchez Trillo / EFE

End of departure

The future Amnesty Law, a central element of the pacts that made Pedro Sánchez’s investiture possible on 16 November last year, was welcomed by many, albeit with great reservations, in the hope that it would serve to guide the dialogue on the future of Catalonia in Spain. Amnesty in exchange for appeasement. We all knew that the pact signed with the pro-independence groups entailed great risks. Conditions that some of us considered indispensable -a stable commitment on the part of the investiture partners- were not included in the pact. After a few months, it is time to ask ourselves whether the expected benefits are materialising, and whether the risks are well measured.

There has been progress in pacification, if by pacification we mean the absence of the street clashes that marked the last months of the ‘procés’. The political atmosphere in Catalonia has become more breathable. A recent event held in Lleida by the Princess of Girona Foundation, attended by Her Majesty the Queen, was attended by a thousand people. Can the reader imagine a similar event in 2017? It is doubtful, however, that the promise of amnesty was the main cause of this cooling off. Whether it is because we have all witnessed the failure of the independence attempt, or simply because we are tired of it, the fact is that the mood is calm. The current situation, however, has more to do with political asthenia than with true peace.

The offer has served, however, to bring the signatories of the investiture pact around several tables; to replace confrontation with dialogue. It is precisely in this dialogue that the great risks lie. It may be that, following the demands of the pro-independence movement, and by means of a systematic recourse to bilateral dealings, Catalonia may cease to be an autonomous region like any other. There is no need to resort to the image of the Trojan horse to foresee a possible end. Some, with their eyes wide open, see this end as inevitable. That is the great risk.

But what happened in the Parliament on 30 January changes the whole scenario. We already knew that it was not necessary to count on the loyalty of a certain converted independentism. We also knew that the ultimate goals of independence are not compatible with the Constitution. But Junts’ refusal to support the government’s proposal at the time of the vote was not a joke, but an insult to the whole country. We will not speak of humiliation, because it is not he who humiliates who wants to but he who can, and the pro-independence movement cannot; but many of us have been ashamed to see the Government and its president leave the Chamber with their heads down and defeat painted on their faces.

There is no other way out than to recognise the mistake of making a pact with these pro-independence supporters and take the consequences.

It was not just Pedro Sánchez; it was the president of the government, of our government, who had been mocked by a group of disloyal cynics who reneged on what had been previously agreed. For this reason, Sánchez should not only take into account personal feelings when facing his next steps, but he should also think that the prestige of our institutions, which his voters have entrusted to him and which he has the duty to maintain, now rests on him.

Let us waste no time in imagining what the next episode in this sad story might be. The worst predictions about the behaviour of the pro-independence supporters have been fulfilled at the first opportunity. For the dignity of the country there must not be a second chance. President Sánchez took a very risky path by subjecting his investiture to the whims of the pro-independence cohort. He probably underestimated the lack of rationality of some of his partners, because there is no doubt that the biggest losers of a breakdown in negotiations will be the pro- independence themselves; perhaps they imagined that they could tighten the noose even more. Whatever. Pedro Sánchez must not allow the president and the government to be treated in this way.

There is no more honourable way out than to recognise the mistake of making a pact with these pro-independence supporters and take the consequences. The PSOE, whose future is at stake in Catalonia and the rest of Spain, will be grateful. Its voters will thank him and remember how he and his governments have contributed to the smooth running of our country. All citizens of good will who trust in dialogue, harmony, dignity and respect will be grateful.

In short, beyond its hypothetical convenience, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the amnesty is neither a right of its possible beneficiaries, nor an obligation of Spanish society, beyond a generous desire for conciliation. It is a fact that the actions of the protagonists of the ‘procès’ provoked unease, anxiety and suffering – not, of course, terror – among hundreds of thousands of people in Catalonia and the rest of Spain. It also weakened social cohesion and contributed to the emergence of Vox as a party with parliamentary representation, starting with the 2018 regional elections in Andalusia (putting an end to the famous “Iberian exception”).

Despite all this, perhaps it is not possible to expect repentance and gratitude from the beneficiaries of the amnesty, which would require a high level of empathy and greatness, but a certain recognition, respect and humility to assume that they do not represent, in any way, Catalan society in all its diversity.

https://www.lavanguardia.com/opinion/20240219/9522506/final-partida.html

OpenKat

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