MAY 27 2019 – 08:43 CEST
Barcelona is not separatist, but it will probably have a mayor of that sign: Ernest Maragall, from Esquerra. This is so because Maragall could climb to the podium when it is confirmed that his list is the most voted, even in a rough technical tie with the current mayor, Ada Colau, of the Comuns.
But instead, the majority of seats chooses a non-independence option respectful of the Constitution.
This majority (Comuns, PSC and Manuel Valls / Ciudadanos) obtained 24 positions, three more than the absolute majority. Against 15 indepes (Esquerra and Junts).
But for that overwhelming arithmetical advantage to become an effective political majority, there must be a pact, but forging it would rather be more than very difficult.
It would be feasible between Colau and Jaume Collboni, the socialist candidate who was forced to resign from her governing team after the socialist consent to the application of Article 155 against the rebellious adventure of Carles Puigdemont.
The agreement of Valls, who heads a list driven by Ciudadanos but is not exactly Ciudadanos, is less easy.
Valls has promised throughout the campaign that he would not make a pro-independence mayor (for Maragall) or a populist one (for Colau). But now he will have to break that equidistance.
Given the practical tie of both, if he doesn’t ally with Colau and Collboni to invest a non-independent (who could also not be Colau, first of this block), de facto, he would be delivering the capital of Catalonia to secessionism.
There is another possible coalition, that of the three lefts (Colau, Maragall, Collboni). It would be viable because its municipal programs seem compatible, albeit arduous, for the fracture of independence-constitutionalism. Esquerra disallowed pacts with the PSC, and vice versa.
A version reduced to two (Maragall and Colau) of that left tripartite would also be viable. At the beginning of the campaign both saw it feasible. Then they began to discard it, to throw cutting remarks and to prioritize a Government in minority.
In any case, it is urgent that both heads of the list clarify how they want to recover the -now vindicated- strategy of the longed-for Mayor Pasqual Maragall.
His Barcelona patriotism was based on two ideas. One, the city-state, in the manner of the medieval Italian republics or of the contemporary Hanseatic port cities of the Baltic Sea.
.Another, the co-capital city of the Spanish State. But that requires rectification. This category cannot be established by someone who denies bread and salt to the head of that same State.
Without that figure, the Olympic Games for 1992 would not have been achieved. Without this support it is complicated to shorten distances with the rival Madrid, beneficiary of multiple inertias.
Without this coverage, and without the indispensable institutional complicity, the rampant provincialism -although of cosmopolitan and glamorous appearance- will be irreversible.