ANTONIO FRANCO, June 30, 2021
The President of the Government, Pedro Sànchez, receives the ’president’ of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, at the Moncloa Palace. / DAVID CAS
Less gesticulation, please
When things are as they are, it would be useful if there were a little less gesticulation in Catalan politics, of which we are all so tired. And more of a realistic calculation, of which the majority is also in favor. The rift between the Spanish and Catalan authorities is deep, we all know it, nobody hides it, because of the almost diabolical mathematics that sustains it. After failing to kick fruitlessly against the wall, the best step that the pro-independence sphere has made to change the dynamics after the elections has been to set a two-year deadline to see if it is possible to advance in any direction. The positions are completely antagonistic: independence referendum or nothing, or the finding of a constitutional formula that allows a certain better fit, which may end up being acceptable to both sides. At least, allowing time for things to evolve in whatever direction within Catalonia and throughout the State.
It will be difficult to return to a normal diplomatic coexistence overnight, after so much trauma. But Pedro Sánchez’s efforts to rebuild it are substantive, through exhausting pardons in which he has dragged part of the public opinion of the rest of the State. When the CEOE and the bishops, until now immobile with Pablo Casado, sidestep, they point out that there is a way. And the steps of Pere Aragonès – among the misgivings of his own radicals – to skillfully open personal contacts like those of the last two weeks, without formal concessions but knowing how to be in his place, too.
But while he did not lower the dignity of his position around him, especially since Junts, the high degree of cumbersome gesticulation has persisted, through a lie that responds to a miscalculation: the one that you can ask anything of Pedro Sánchez, although it is not in his power to grant it. These two years, secessionism needs to understand that, in order not to shoot itself in the foot, it must contribute to the evolutionary movements of half or a third of Spaniards – especially from the periphery – with respect to the State model, lowering its level of verbal rudeness, without giving easy weapons to the radical wing of the PP, the voters of VOX and the erratic rampages of Ciudadanos. Sensitive issues such as the Court of Auditors, the re-elaboration of the concept of the crime of sedition, regional financing and the delicate distribution of European funds will be much more difficult for the small government majority in Madrid to face, with the persistence here of the spirit that ironically has described the writer Albert Soler, when referring to the setting up of a possible continuous Independence theme park with the released prisoners trying to make a political living from it or organizing performances with Jordi Cuxart on top of a car, giving speeches to those who already know them. It is one thing to defend principles and another to hinder by trying to destroy the few bridges that we have. Without acknowledging it, if they want, but secessionism must accompany non-sectarian constitutionalists to try to lay a foundation for something. That is its challenge, its opportunity. If you want to get somewhere compatible with a solution, of course.