Enric Juliana, 31/12/2020
Catalans are concerned about decadence as much or more than the debate over independence. These is one of the conclusions that the Socialist Party has reached through various qualitative studies carried out in recent months.
The focus groups indicate that in Catalonia there is a lot of fear of a strong economic and social decline. A society used to seeing itself above the average now feels vertigo. All Spain experiences that concern, obviously. And a good part of Europe. But in Catalunya the dance started earlier.
Sánchez’s team has spent months studying the mood of Catalan society
Catalan self-confidence reached its zenith with the fantastic success of the 1992 Olympic Games and began to decline slowly with the arrival of the new century. The expansion of sovereignty emerged then. The angry Catalan began to manifest himself while Spain was apparently doing well during the second term of José María Aznar, in which Barcelona took a back seat.
The economic crisis that began in 2008 turned Catalonia into an authentic political and social volcano, which pushed Artur Mas, now melancholic in front of the sea, into the game of the independence chicken with Oriol Junqueras. The first to deviate from the path, will lose. That game is not over yet.
The feeling of going downhill has been increasing since the unfortunate autumn of 2017. Consequently, the epidemic has surprised Catalan society in a strong depressive cycle, whose last note is the linguistic catastrophism: the conviction, fueled by pro-independence circles, of that the Catalan language is about to die. The knockout of the city of Barcelona as a consequence of the collapse of urban tourism accentuates negative perceptions. The latest barometer of the Barcelona City Council is very eloquent in this regard.
What will be discussed in the Catalan electoral campaign? The fear of decline is strong. This framework explains the socialist commitment to Salvador Illa, a politician who was not in the front line during the events of October 2017 and who left the Ministry of Health alive (second highest valued minister), thanks to his ability to transmit serenity in moments of extraordinary embarrassment.
Enric Juliana. 21/11/2020
There is leg tremor in political sectors of Catalonia before the elections scheduled for February 14. Fear of losing, fear of a dangerous loss of prestige as a consequence of a bad political management of an exceptional time in which the conflicts between parties should be better concealed. The epidemic is not an easy situation to manage anywhere on the planet, what seems to be going well one day can spoil after a week, unpleasant measures must be adopted, the health system was diminished by cuts during the last crisis economic (in Catalonia in a significant way), social suffering is increasing and demagoguery circulates in spurts. It is not an easy situation and at the moment a great majority of Catalans, regardless of their political sympathies, are quite in agreement on one point: they expected more from the Government of the Generalitat. Those who two years ago proposed nothing more and nothing less than to modify the internal borders of the European Union, are having serious difficulties to demonstrate solvency in these difficult times. There is fear of losing.
The probe balloon was launched yesterday by the Government spokesperson, Meritxell Budó, from Junts per Catalunya, possibly the political party most interested today in the postponement of the elections. This measure would be put on the table if a new outbreak occurs in mid-January as a result of the relaxation of restrictions in the coming weeks to live a Christmas with some respite. A real ‘competition’ will begin shortly between the autonomous communities in pursuit of a Christmas as happy and open as possible. This is what the economy demands and the mental health of the population demands it. Since the epidemic is pendular, a relaxation at the end of December could be accompanied by a worsening at the end of January and that would offer a good argument to those who fear going to the polls in February.
Catalonia has entered a depressive political cycle. It will not be easy to trace it.