Joaquim Coll 4/03/2020
With more than two years of delay, the opinion makers of independence, such as Toni Soler, assume that Carles Puigdemont headed for the DUI at the end of October 2017 knowing that he would not materialize it. In fact, ERC forced him to do so under the threat of leaving the Government, although what its leaders wanted of the then president was to end up calling elections to be able to accuse the neoconvergents of having betrayed the process.
Artur Mas also, in his recent book, told about the faces of concern and disbelief of both Oriol Junqueras and Marta Rovira when they heard from Puigdemont himself that he was finally going to do what they asked, so that their strategy of pressing to the limit turned against them and they had no choice but to move on, prisoners of their words and tactics.
The newspaper archive allows us to resuscitate an interview in the newspaper Ara – today quite surprising – in which Mònica Terribas asked Oriol Junqueras, a few days before the November 2012 elections, what was the ERC strategy to achieve independence. In his response, the Republican leader was as blunt as he was repetitive:
“We are convinced that negotiating with the Spanish State makes no sense because the Spanish State always violates agreements with Catalonia and the rest of the world […]. And we are convinced that the Spanish State will not want to speak and that if it wants to speak it will deceive us because it has always done so. Therefore, we are sure that an explicit pronouncement from the Parliament of Catalonia and the citizens of Catalonia is required through its parliament or a referendum announcing to the world our willingness to be a State, an independent country. Because until we announce our willingness to be an independent country, any negotiation process with the Spanish State is a vitiated process in which the Spanish State acts as a player and arbitrator, and when someone acts as judge and party, it is almost impossible to win because he modifies the laws whenever he wants… ” .
Let’s look at the fanatic contempt that Junqueras makes of the Spanish State, described almost as an evil entity, which constantly deceives and with which it is not worth engaging in any kind of dialogue or negotiation. We are in the year 2012, at the gates of those elections in which Artur Mas was losing 12 deputies, an ERC prisoner, who ended up imposing him, as a condition to invest him as president, a sovereignist consultation in 2014.
And let us not forget that during the following years the great argument of sovereignty, repeated to satiety by its media spokesmen, would be that Mariano Rajoy’s negotiating impasse had left no other option than the unilateral route.
All the process until autumn of 2017 is explained by that bid that drives ERC with the hope that Mas first and then Puigdemont crumple at the final moment and the Republicans manage to take over the hegemony of the pro-independence space.
But that strategy fails again and again because Mas is politically reinforced from 9-N and Puigdemont becomes with his flight to Belgium a very powerful symbol of separatism by putting Spanish justice in check.
Junqueras, on the other hand, embodies both the defeat of those who are imprisoned and disabled without achieving anything, such as the bending of those who always push the situation to the limit by the desire to overwhelm their electoral competitor. That is the original sin of ERC and of its Catholic leader, although now it has a favorable media climate by embodying the way in favor of dialogue with the Spanish Government, but that, remember, years before denigrated it as a useless and misleading dialogue in the same way of Clara Ponsatí today.
Although today the roles have been exchanged between both Republicans and neoconvergents, compared to Mas and Puigdemont, Junqueras has played a much more toxic and harmful role throughout the process. To trust that behind his tactical turn in relation to the dialogue table there is a sincere ideological conversion is to be deceived.