Antonio Franco. 7 April 2021
Pere Aragonès and Laura Borràs, in the Parliament, after the first session of the investiture debate. / FERRAN NADEU
Puigdemont and Junts will only retain the hegemony that the polls have denied them if they lower the value of the autonomous institution and cut the margin of maneuver of the Executive Council
There is very little clear in the thick Catalan panorama of negotiations between intimate enemies to whom only the aspiration for independence unites. The main one is emphatic: the priority of Puigdemont and Junts is not that the whole of Catalans live better or that the pandemic leaves us the least possible injury, but that we have – Jordi Pujol would say “now it suits us” – a weak Generalitat. They present it as the sacrifice necessary to achieve the higher good of separating from Spain.
ERC was ahead of them in the last elections, so that Puigdemont and Junts have lost the presidency and the direction of the Government. To continue with the classics, as Marta Ferrusola would say, thieves have entered the house and robbed them of formal power. They will only preserve the hegemony that the polls have denied them if they lower the value of the autonomous institution and cut the margin of maneuver of the Executive Council. That is the key. With this objective in mind, it is almost the same for them to weigh down the Government by tying the hands of Pere Aragonès from within than by leaving him in a parliamentary minority and depending on them, who will be outside, so that whatever is in line with the wishes of Waterloo or to hinder whatever has not Waterloo approval. The only difference, and it is no little, are the positions, salaries and resources that they aspire to, but Aragonès, tied up, will have to end up accepting in that matter – some positions, all the salaries they need – what they demand of him.
Unless there is a punch on the table by Aragonès and ERC trusting – without agreeing or writing it – in what the socialists and the ‘Comúns’ could reasonably help them in order to return to the priority of serving the needs of all Catalans, citizens will waste their time suffering from the rhetorical bickering that Catalan politics continues to fabricate. The entity chosen by Puigdemont and Junts to lead the Generalitat and the independence movement from outside is the hitherto ethereal Consell per la Republica, a private club elevated to the symbolic category of marrow to achieve secession. So far there have been six employees, a website and a group of leaders without any representative of the CUP and a single member of ERC (who remains in a minority if there are votes that could cut the absolute control of Puigdemont). His only offer, let’s say generous in the new situation, has been to invite Aragonès, as future president, to join that council to which he should obey and in which he would be democratically speaking in the minority.
Where are we citizens? Will they be able to empty the Generalitat of power with this autonomous 155? Do they start a new ‘procés’ without paying the toll of recognizing disasters and bad governance beforehand during the stage that is closing? Will ERC be able to defend the Generalitat from the Junts’ maneuver? If you look at it, whatever happens we will continue more or less where we were. And to top it all, the one who dies is Arcadi Oliveres and not those who are useless for us. History continues without mercy to us.