Daniel Tercero – BARCELONA Updated: 01/09/2021
Alfons López Tena – INÉS BAUCELLS
Alfons López Tena (Sagunto, Valencia, 1957) is a notary public and intellectual author of the nationalist “leitmotiv” “Spain steals from us”. He founded Solidaritat per l’ Independència and was a regional MCP between 2010 and 2012, after passing through CiU and the Spanish General Council of the Judiciary. While remaining pro-independence, he is criticized by the ultra-secessionist sector because they see him as “an enemy” of “their own fellows”.
And now what?
The same, but worse.
No. We will continue the same way within the Spanish constitutional system and integration into the European Union, which is the stable framework. Point of arrival for Spain and departure point for Catalan nationalism. But we are the same way as twenty years ago.
Yes. After the 2006 Statute of Autonomy, there were two options: to stay as we were, that is, in Zapatero’s words: “This is forever”; or that Catalonia is an independent state. Everything failed. So, this is forever…
Are we without incentives?
The Charter for Barcelona, the Commonwealth, the Statute, the Autonomous Port, the Free Zone have already passed … all this served to distract, but also as a stimulus. Dreams serve as a stimulus.
Is all this over?
We have been like this for two hundred years or so. Saying now that “this is what there is”, well, man, is normal to generate a lot of frustration.
Would the pardons to the leaders of the “procés” help to negotiate?
They wouldn’t help at all. The bottom line is structural. The situation is and will continue to be blocked.
How do you satisfy someone who wants everything?
It cannot be done. In addition, lack of power serves as an alibi for incompetence, and this, in turn, generates more incompetence, which is also less punished and more tolerated. Of course, the situation is not positive for anyone. But that’s what there is.
Neither Spanish stability, nor Catalan independence.
Yes, stability, yes. Economically and socially, Catalonia will progress because it is in the Spanish constitutional and European integration sphere. This framework prevents the secession attempt from being burdensome.
What is the «procés» for someone who promoted it with the motto «Spain steals us»?
The “procés” is not the same as what was experienced with the end of the Statute, between 2005 and 2010. This period is one thing, in which what would later become the “procés” fermented with studies, analyzes, citizen consultations… And a different one is the «procés», in which we have seen that there was nothing at all. As Clara Ponsatí said, they were bluffing. Not the famous state structures. In the “pre-procés” a movement took shape that culminated politically, above all, with Reagrupament and Solidaritat per la Independència. About 150,000 votes. It was the first independence breach. But the “procés” was what CiU and ERC started from that moment, with Artur Mas and Oriol Junqueras at leaders. They wanted to harness that energy to retake the Statute. A strategy created by David Madí and Quico Homs. Generate a credible threat to make us a good offer. And so we are.
Puigdemont, an autonomist?
Yes. In the morning, at ten, he says that he only wants to negotiate the date of the independence referendum with the Government of Spain and in the afternoon, at seven, he asks it to make a proposal for the Catalans to vote on. If what one wants is a divorce, there is no point waiting for a proposal from the couple. One of the reasons the “procés” has failed is because they were bluffing. And sometimes you win by bluffing, but it is essential that the person in front believes it.
In this sense, worse than in 2010?
Yes, worse. And worse than in 2000.
You are going too far back…
The end of pujolism. The «procés», and its previous stage, cannot be separated from the «peix al cove [a bird in the hand]» and its exhaustion. The 2008 economic crisis is of great importance, no doubt, but the underlying wave is the liquidation of Pujolismo. The fulfillment of the Statute of 1979. The Statute was fulfilled and we were left with no objective…
And we collided.
With winners and losers?
I think so. This is a zero sum game. Has there been independence?
Can Spain be governed with a part of Catalonia in rebellion?
Yes. I don’t see any problem. If the day-to-day has been in conflict, which I think is over by now, it has been because before there were two hegemonic parties with 85 percent of the votes and now there are not. But they have not lost them to the benefit of the pro-independence parties, they have lost them in favor of Cs, Podemos and Vox, who in turn wanted to replace PP and PSOE. If there has been instability in Spain, it has been because of this, but not because of a supposed Catalan crisis.
And the strength of ERC in Congress?
There it is. Thirteen seats that, in one way or another, vote with the Government. We have been like this for more than forty years. This is part of the system. Furthermore, the PSOE has decided that there are no longer classic pacts with nationalism. Presenting Salvador Illa to the Generalitat is to go for it all. There is no pact for nationalism to do what it wants in Catalonia while they collaborate with the central Government. The “you support me in Madrid and do what you want in your Catalan fiefdom” is over.
Is Torra our Trump?
Bah. No. The most Donald Trump-like is Junqueras. Mas is not very far behind. Although the one who has the concept of authoritarian populism is Junqueras. He has it in mind: dividing society into two parts, those who are the people and those who are not part of it. Junqueras uses it with the canonical «la bona gent». I mean, those who are not with him … what are they? And it is not a question of surnames, although they help. Gabriel Rufián is the example. The jump to the friend-enemy dialectic is the following step. It’s very easy to tell right from wrong. And to that systematic lying, cynicism, demagoguery are added…
Will Catalonia be independent?
No. Half of the Catalans do not want independence, and the other half wish for it but do not want it, either. It is not a price issue. As a US senator told me in 2011: “Does your people want independence or only demonstrate for it?” We are with the pandemic but when it passes the demonstrations will return.