PAOLA Lo Cascio NOV 3, 2020
The businessman Oriol Soler (left) and the former ERC clerk Xavier Vendrell greet each other after leaving the police station. TONI ALBIR EFE
A decidedly relevant influence of these actors emerges on the decisions taken by the different pro-independence executives over time.
Last week the arrests (and the release with charges) of a series of relevant figures from the independence world, especially businessmen, were known within the framework of an investigation that includes elements as disparate as the origin and operation of the Democratic Tsunami, the financing of Puigdemont’s stay in Belgium and, more prosaically, diversion of public funds and influence peddling.
From the outset, to highlight a scrupulous respect for the presumption of innocence, the capital surprise at the credit that the judge has given to the words of one of the defendants -Víctor Terradellas- and to his fanciful theories about possible Russian military interventions, and the strongest condemnation for those who from the state security forces flirted with nominal references to battles that the Blue Division came to fight alongside Hitler’s soldiers, and that for this reason alone should be the subject of a disciplinary file.
As a result of the information available today, therefore, it is not possible to know if the most decisive part of the investigation (the diversion of subsidies from the Barcelona Provincial Council, as well as a possible influence peddling for the purpose of of personal profit) that sees as prominent protagonists David Madí, Xavier Vendrell and Oriol Soler, be it true. Those who offend usually leave no trace and criminal law is very guaranteeing.
However, and as a result of the arrests for the first time in a long time, three key figures of what has become known in public opinion as “the general staff” of the process have been the object of the attention of the media, of which much has been said and very little known.
The three entrepreneurs have decided not to answer the researchers’ questions. David Madí has not attended the media either. On the other hand, they have done it, and extensively -through the radio and television networks of the Generalitat-, both Soler and Vendrell.
Both have defended the fact that the case is part of the judicial repression suffered by the independence movement, and both have assured – without going into the details, as is logical, given their procedural position – that none of the actions for which they are imputed are outside the law.
However, and beyond the possible criminal relevance, both the intervened conversations and their own declarations in the media return an image that would be worth reflecting on, insofar as it explains some of the fundamental mechanisms of Catalan Government operation of process.
What emerges is a decidedly relevant influence of these actors on the decisions that the different pro-independence executives have taken over time. These are people who have not had or do not have any democratic legitimacy: they did not hold any public office either by election or by appointment at the time they decided on key aspects of how the Executive should operate at a key juncture for Catalan institutions.
No one is naive and we all know the importance that the so-called “advisers” have acquired, who possess a very great informal power. What is surprising in this case is the defense that they have made of their role: Soler has portrayed himself on public television as an entrepreneur of a supposed line of businessmen-activists, apparently more Catalan than the Sardana (traditional dance); while Vendrell has done it as a pro-independence activist whose long career would provide him with the legitimacy to operate and decide in political deliberations. Both have justified their role in terms of service to the cause of a “country” in which individual and collective initiative – and not subsidies – are what drives everything. On this last point, one would only have to look at the catalog of aid granted by the Generalitat: Catalonia is, as in many other aspects, a normal country.
His way of explaining things distills a certain conviction. They want to decide, because they know they are dedicated and smart. A parallel ruling class, which does not go to the polls. They sincerely seems to believe that they do not need it, because the justice of their cause allows them to be unscrupulous with democratic mechanisms. This has been and is certainly a problem for all Catalan citizens, insofar as it distorts the functioning of institutions. But seen more closely, it is also a problem for the same leaders of the pro-independence parties, who had to strive to win the consensus of the people. And yet, on more than one occasion they discovered that they would never have enough gallons to be part of any General staff.