Jordi Juan, 17 November 2023
Director of La Vanguardia
ERC leader Oriol Junqueras and former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont. EFE
The PSOE has signed an agreement with the Catalan pro-independence supporters with the aim of making Pedro Sánchez president – as a top priority – and also to contribute in passing to calming the climate of coexistence in Catalonia, which is no more than a euphemism that hides the fact that the number of supporters of independence is decreasing.
On the other hand, Junts and Esquerra have signed an agreement with the socialists with the aim of advancing their goal of achieving independence – as a top priority – and also to make Sánchez president of the government.
That’s the way things are. The rest is pure theatre. Who will impose their thesis? For the moment, the PSOE is ahead in the battle of ideas. The survey by the CEO – the Catalan CIS – which is in the hands of the Esquerra government, confirms the decline of pro-independence: supporters of secessionism have gone from 40% in October 2017 to 30% in November 2023. The survey released yesterday also reveals that the PSC is increasing its lead with a range between 39 and 45 MPs (in the 2020 elections it obtained 33 MPs) and, in the best case scenario, Junts, ERC and the CUP do not achieve an absolute majority.
The socialists’ outstretched hand strategy is helping to reduce the number of Catalans who want to leave Spain. The PP’s strategy, on the other hand, was a factory for creating pro-independence supporters. If Carles Puigdemont and Oriol Junqueras had not rushed to violate the Constitution and organise an illegal referendum and had continued to confine themselves to the legal framework, who knows where they could have got to with the mistakes that the PP government was making.
What will happen from now on is a blank page. The pro-independence supporters believe that they will be able to take Sánchez’s outstretched hand and keep his whole arm, while the socialists believe that the majority of the Catalan population will realise that independence is now unfeasible in the current EU. Sánchez’s gamble – as we already knew – is a risky one. We will see who imposes his objectives in the end.