Catalan common front against anti-social PP government
Spanish administration's appeal is proof —better than any campaign— that Catalonia needs a legal framework of its own.
Yesterday Carles Puigdemont, President of the Generalitat, announced an agreement with city councils and civil organizations to move forward with an express law that would leave the Constitutional Court's (TC's) suspension of the anti-evictions law without practical effects. The value of this legal initiative is that this time it will count on the participation of civil society, via the Catalan Bar Association on one hand, and the Platform of People Affected by Mortgages, the Observatori DESC (Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights), and the Alliance Against Energy Poverty on the other. Their joint goal will be to weave a front that goes beyond the Parliament's political forces. The alliance will serve to show Catalan unity behind the need to protect the most vulnerable social sectors facing the threat of evictions and shutoffs in electricity, gas, or water.
This would be an unprecedented move in recent Catalan history that would align institutions and civil society against a government, that of the PP, which uses the excuse of defending the unity of Spain to punish and discriminate against the most vulnerable. The Rajoy government —or his successor— will struggle to justify their opposition to a Catalan law that comes backed by such a strong consensus. This strategy will also put to the test the commitment that groups like the PP and Ciudadanos —which always wave the flag of legal compliance— have towards the will of the Catalan people to seek practical and useful solutions to resolve dramatic situations such as evictions.
President Puigdemont knew his place yesterday, leading but not monopolizing the summit, and laid out a path that could be very useful for the future of the independence process. The PP's appeal facilitates, better than any campaign, the education efforts regarding Catalonia's need for its own legislative framework to confront social emergencies arising from the crisis. And to do so with the maximum possible consensus --with the maximum number of social agents-- is the best way of guaranteeing the initiative's success.
Still —and above all—, we must focus on the measure's effectiveness, as the city councils requested yesterday. If the evictions are not stopped, yesterday's summit will go down as nothing more than a monument to impotence.