Lluís Bassets – Barcelona, 11 OCT 2020
The agreement on the presidency between Junts and ERC disguises pro-independence principles which are only electoral interests
We have seen many amazing things so far but it is clear that we have not seen them all yet and we can see many more. The latest rarity has been the judicial dismissal of Quim Torra as president of the Generalitat. Until now we had a president in exile and a vicar president, and now we have to add an interim president, recognized as a temporary substitute for the deposed president, but without any authorization or will to identify himself as such president.
The confusion is overwhelming, but it is clear that it has already become a policy and for a long time, it would even be said anticipating what has happened in the world. The policy of chaos that has ruled the White House since January 2017 here, in Plaça de Sant Jaume, has ruled at least since September 2015, when Artur Mas lost the elections called as plebiscites and was then forced to step aside and please the CUP by calling Carles Puigdemont as his successor.
We could be fed up with the mess of real or false institutions, deposed or reluctant presidents and proclaimed or under-built republics, if we were not in the middle of a pandemic, with a health system handled with kid gloves, an economic crisis of unfathomable depth and an inability to govern the institutions of self-government as prodigious as the inability of those who govern us to implement the pro-independence programs with which they have been largely endorsed.
Ernest Folch has nailed it in his article in ‘El Periódico de Catalunya’ last Tuesday (‘La por escènica d’Esquerra Republicana’, October 6): “We believed that the role of the vice president was precisely to act as president when he, for whatever reason (also unjust) ceases to hold office. Well no. In one of these already classic plot twists in the ‘trial’, those who until the previous minute proclaimed the vital importance of the office of president and the need to preserve the institutions, have decided to degrade the Generalitat and leave it without a president (. ..) Institutions are sacred, but only when ours govern ”.
Appearance is the principle, but interests are the reality. It could be clowning around in other conditions, but in the current ones it becomes an unbearable comedy, organized by Puigdemontism in order to avoid that Aragonès, the candidate of Esquerra, can take advantage of the four presidential months that await him. The most pathetic thing is the left’s resigned consent to follow the farce and Aragonés’s slow refusal to allow himself to be treated as president.
The role signed by the two coalition parties explains very well, where the rules of this interim stage are set, and the reasons for the strange form of the interim are explained: “The Government will also denounce the repression of the Spanish State keeping vacant all the spaces of the Presidency of the Generalitat and the President, such as the offices or the chair it occupies in the Executive Council ”. Everyone knows that the denunciation is useless and that the explanation, very different, lies in the electoral and political competition between Puigdemontism and the Left for hegemony within the pro-independence space and, above all, for the parliamentary majority.
In the last ten years, a fabulous castle of words has been built in Catalonia, made up of sophistry, distortions, fantasies and deceptions. Another example of this is the agreement between JxCat and ERC for the replacement of Torra, where he disguises himself as a protest against “the repression of the Spanish state” which is nothing more than an agreement to maintain the balance of power. between two formations.
Pere Aragonès, although he does not want to, is the president of the Generalitat. It would be good for him to exercise as such instead of leaving school for four months, or many more in case the pandemic does not allow us to make the elections at the right time. There should be no problem and, on the contrary, it would be extremely beneficial, to co-chair with Pedro Sánchez the negotiating table agreed to the investiture of the Spanish government and participate as president in all meetings agreed with the other regional presidents and that of the central government.
The continuity of institutions is what makes them live. Institutions shrink when the ‘holy continuity’ exalted by Eugeni d’Ors fails. The president of the Generalitat is more than a position, it is an institution, and there is no justification for the reduction imposed by Puigdemont, with the excuse of the principles, on the role of keeping alive the muffled bonfire of the process, but with the definite intention of winning by hand to the Left, once again.
President Tarradellas knew how to save continuity in the worst possible conditions, quite the opposite of what the pro-independence leaders are doing now. One cannot govern an institution and at the same time want to destroy it. It is not uncommon for people like Quim Torra to find that the historical self-government of Catalonia has become a nuisance and Catalanism useless. Catalonia needs a government and a president, and although its incumbent is reluctant, Pere Aragonès must be told vigorously that the president is him and that he should do his job well.