Santi Vila 10/21/2020
Image: Pere Duran / NORD MEDIA
Santi Vila is a Catalan historian and politician, MP of Catalan Parliament 2006-2013. Vila resigned just before the Catalan unilateral declaration of independence. He was pre-trial jailed only one night and was offered bail of €50,000.
Not even the oldest and wisest of the place can explain how such a traumatic and enormous implosion within the Convergent space as the one that has experienced in recent years has been possible (Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya, frequently shortened as Convergència was a Catalan nationalist, liberal political party, with pro-independentist trend in its later years).
Neither the excuses of Spanish State repression for having embraced the independence movement nor the judicial harassment that derives from the corruption problems seem sufficient reasons to explain the disaster. PSOE, PP, ERC and Podemos have managed and manage various problems of corruption or antisystem delusions and despite this they retain an ironclad health.
The phenomenon is especially difficult to justify considering that apparently Artur Mas did the most difficult thing: to take the baton after 23 years of Pujolist hegemony and, despite the inevitable attrition, to win the elections against socialist Pasqual Maragall, in 2003. If the feat was not important enough, as is known, two electoral victories did not save Jordi Pujol’s heir from a very hard crossing of the desert. At that time, politicians, journalists and local progressives predicted that we would finally witness the death of Convergència and its original values, considered inappropriate for the 21st century.
It is the moment of the reunification of all sovereignists who know that there is no democracy without law
Paradoxes of life, against the prognosis, finally in 2010 Mas achieved an incontestable victory, with a liberal and reformist program that, viewed with perspective, gives the impression that it anticipated in Catalonia the generational and political agenda changes that others have later incorporated with success in France, Canada or the Basque Country: democratic regeneration, sustainable capitalism and improvement of civil rights. But with an Achilles heel: Mas arrived at Plaça Sant Jaume in the midst of an economic recession, with an administration overwhelmed by deficits and indebtedness, and with the fatal and inescapable challenge of avoiding the financial collapse of the Generalitat. Harassed by the response to the cuts and by the immobility of the PP, the president threw his modernizing program into the trash of history and, listening to the wrong and opportunistic advisers, he embraced the classic recipe of nationalism: if management fails you, hold on to the flag; If the management of the present becomes unbearable, try to make you dream of the future to come, it promises the recovery of the happy arcade before 1714 or, worse, of the Republic of Companys and the FAI.
The rest is known and its name is “the procés”: split between liberals and Christian Democrats, first, and Convergents immolation, later. Some will say that the Spanish parties, instead of helping to avoid falling off the cliff, pushed it, cynical and irresponsible. And they are right. The truth, however, is that now that the storm has passed and that the Convergent star has imploded into a thousand and one small planets, the voices that yearn for a liberal, progressive and center space resurface, which will once again place Catalonia in the the path of its best tradition. But to achieve this, it will be necessary to know how to put principles ahead of personalities, the general interest above spurious interests. The PDECat of David Bonvehí and Àngels Chacón has been brave and has confirmed its restorative and possible purpose. Without giving up their independence dream, they have made it clear that they never again intend to go back to the mountains and, even less, to support the policies of the extreme left populist, as they seem determined to continue doing from JuntsxCat. Marta Pascal has also been audacious, with his project of Basque nationalist inspiration, which seeks to reconcile pragmatism and idealism. The meteorites that emerged from the first moments of the implosion remain expectant: those of Lliures, the Convergents and those of the Lliga, formations with prepared and solvent management leadership, but surely with more good intentions than voters. Finally, the old Christian democracy keeps its position silent, sheltered under the socialist umbrella, waiting for the storm to subside. Sharing everything they all share, which is a lot, nothing would be so unforgivable as doing the same as that businessman from The Little Prince, who, standing before the immensity of the universe, instead of revere the stars, began to count them, to see in vain if he could buy them.
I think that the call for the next elections has to mark the definitive overcoming of the “the procés”, that false route that so many personal and collective bills have left. It is time for the reunification of all sovereignists who know that there is no democracy without law and to return to the common home that PDECat has preserved. It is also the time for citizen reconciliation and to put people’s real problems back at the center.