April 15, 2020
Oriol Junqueras begins his article, published on the 14th in La Vanguardia, with the title “Let’s build the Catalonia of the common good”, with a phrase inappropriate for a historian like him. “Building a Catalan Republic … this has been and is our political objective for 89 years. April 14, 1931 and April 14, 2020“.
It must be said from a good start that this is not accurate. Esquerra Republicana did not consider the independence of Catalonia, therefore, a Catalan state that could become a republic, but the Spanish Republic, that is why it was part of their governments, and for this reason the unfortunate October 6, 1934, illegitimate attempt to overthrow the elected republican government, through an insurrection theoretically led by the PSOE and the UGT, but which in practice was only followed in Asturias, and in the specific case of Catalonia, was the President of the Generalitat”Spanish state is not useful for the citizens of our country“, Lluís Companys, who starred in it, declaring the Catalan State of the Spanish Federal Republic.
It is an evident fact that Esquerra Republicana has not been independent until relatively recently, specifically when Àngel Colom reached the general secretariat, after an important entry of people from the movement that he led, “La Crida”. This was in 1989, which is a long way from 1931.
Starting from the historical alteration, the article has a series of statements that seriously question the political rigor that many of us have attributed to Junqueras. He begins from the thesis that in the current pandemic the “Spanish state is not useful for the citizens of our country“. He describes it as “slow in reaction, centralist, nationalist, militaristic, oligopolistic, and desperately inefficient“. He accuses it of not managing the crisis “with the main objective of facing the health crisis, but from propaganda, the flag and the construction of a new patch to save the regime as it was done in 1977“.
You can share, less harshly and partially, the criticism of Junqueras, specifically the lack of effectiveness, and the tendency to confuse political management with advertising, but it is a crime to accuse Sánchez and Iglesias of nationalists and militarists, just because the army contributes with its means to fight the pandemic. What did he want? Just to have locked up its resources in the barracks while people die? If Sánchez is a nationalist, what should Torra be? Presenting the Moncloa pacts as a patch, when they were basic to the democratic transition of this country, is a frivolity, once again inappropriate for a historian, and close to the reckless politician who pushed Puigdemont, on a fateful night, to a ridiculous non-proclamation of independence, which has only served to make Junqueras himself and his fellow prisoners suffer excessive and unjustified criminal treatment.
With this article on the table, it is evident that ERC cannot support the state pact that Sánchez is seeking, and not even facilitate the budgets with his abstention that would prolong the life of a nationalist, militaristic and oligarchic government. Is Junqueras serious about all this, or is it just a threat to get a better deal? Something that necessarily should have already occurred. Will he change lanes in the midst of crisis and overtake Puigdemont in a race to nowhere?
But with all this being politically substantial, what reaches levels of political fantasy is the contrast he makes with the Government of the Generalitat, bearer of all the excellences in the SAR Covid 2 pandemic. The phrase is fantastic: “The Govern was leading and showing once again its efficiency and solvency, especially the departments most closely impacted by the pandemic“.
It is difficult, based on these statements, to consider that Junqueras is a credible politician, when it is quite evident, as the figures and results show, that the management of the Government of the Generalitat has even surpassed the Spanish in its deficiencies. It began with the confinament of Igualada and the surrounding populations, without first providing them with the necessary resources, especially when the main source of infection was the local hospital itself. The result has been that in this territory the number of deaths per million inhabitants is the clearest way to see the impact of the pandemic, it is one of the highest in Europe.
Catalonia exceeds the whole of Spain in the number of deaths in relation to its population, another disaster figure. The deaths of the elderly in Catalan nursing homes amount to more than 25% of the total deaths of these characteristics in all of Spain, when the population of Catalonia is 16% and the percentage of people over 75 years of age is even lower.
The Medical Emergency Service of the Generalitat of Catalonia (SEM) is the only one that has had the shame to present in writing the denial of the aid of respirators to those over 75 years, even if they did not present serious pathologies, and their previous physical conditions to the contagion were good. It has had the hypocrisy of arguing how the causes should be “sold” to the elderly so as not to transfer them to the hospital.
The President of the Generalitat himself has disavowed the councilor of Labor and Social Services of Esquerra Republicana, taking away the residences of the elderly from his competence, due to his disastrous management. He has also created his own group of experts to lead the exit for the confinement, outside the direction of the Department of Health of Alba Vergés, also from Esquerra. Announcements have been made about the provision of means to the public, specifically the masks, which later had to be rectified because they did not respond to reality.
Anyway, the list is very long. These concrete examples are enough to illustrate the political blindness of Junqueras, or if you want to be more accommodating, the information deficit that he suffers that prevents him from having a minimally acceptable idea of the reality of Catalonia and its Government.