Antoni Puigverd 03/08/2020
In the embarrassment of this strange August, I think of the (re) imprisoned politicians. At the time, I supported the first 80% manifesto, criticizing the recourse to judicialization as a tool to resolve political conflicts and calling for accusations of rebellion and violence not to be taken into account. But I did not want to support the second manifesto because it denied the division that, as a consequence of unilateralism, has occurred in Catalonia. Several surveys prove that between 70% and 80% of Catalans would like to resolve this very serious conflict with dialogue and without prisoners. But promoting this dialogue implies three things that the independence movement never accepts: acknowledging mistakes, being willing to give in, admitting that they disregard half of the Catalans.
Clarified my position, I stress that the prosecution’s obsession with the persecutor to the maximum the prison of the condemned independentists keeps not only Catalonia, but Spain as a whole, on a dead end. The extremely harsh sentence of the Supreme Court left a small gap: it did not establish a mandatory period of serving the sentence. This could have been a soft and discreet way out of the maze. But the TS itself has decided to shut it down.
Can the principle of legality converge with the democratic principle?
In this impasse, it is relevant to remember the essential reflections of Professor Sánchez-Cuenca on the sentence of the process. 1) The facts that were not contemplated in the Penal Code were judged. Normally, the discretion of the judges is already very high, but with the judgment, such discretion has turned into tumultuous sedition, protests and actions that are much less forceful than the usual presence of strikes and mobilizations. 2) In response to the independence challenge, the Spanish elites have obtained to impose a “legalistic conception of democracy”. Lesmes himself said the other day: there is no democracy without the rule of law. In Spain, the principle of legality goes above the democratic principle. Independentists on the other hand, advocate the opposite idea: the democratic principle is above the legality.
If we want the Catalan conflict not to cause a necrosis in our democracy, we should bring the two principles together. They must be synthesized instead of pretending that one of them prevails over the other. Around this synthesis we could start the dialogue, which, however, is impossible if they remain in prison. Will the Spanish Government make a move? Or is also paralyzed on a dead end?