This time it will be different
Before making a mistake again by doing things as usual, there is a moment of optimism in which the human race convinces itself that "this time it will be different". It is a catch-all phrase that is as successful as "it is not what it seems" and contains a few moments of hope in which it is possible to think of a happy, unveiled north ahead.
Catalonia's history - and that of Spain - is like a loop that is rarely broken. But we are now at a turning point where decisions will have to be made, and we will have to answer to future generations.
After many years of confirming that it is always possible for relations to get worse between them, the Catalan and Spanish governments are now obliged to try the path of negotiation. In short, they will have to demonstrate whether they are capable of making decisions that will build a new post-pandemic economy and a new form of relationship between the State and Catalonia, respectful of the mandate of the ballot boxes. The challenge, therefore, is now inextricably economic and political.
Something changed when the President of the Cercle d'Economia, Javier Faus, asked Pedro Sánchez if it is possible to find "another way of understanding Spain" and if he is able to be "more German than French" after having shown himself in favour of pardoning the pro-independence prisoners. Faus and Antonio Garamendi, of CEOE, thus distanced themselves from PP and the apostles of revenge, who make so much noise in the Madrid pressure cooker. The pardon is a first step.
Economically, we have the opportunity to build and Spain will receive in the coming years the same amount of European funds that it has received since its integration. It is a new beginning and the strategic lines are those marked by a green, digitized and cohesive Europe that will only be capable of competing with the push from China and the USA if it becomes more integrated.
The moment for the Spanish equivalent of “whatever it takes” has come in the same way that Mario Draghi laid the foundations for the monetary policy that would allow for the exit from the 2008 financial crisis, and we will see if the protagonists are up to what the former President of the European Central Bank represented then for European survival, and if they will also do what it takes to transform the country.
The Cercle conference started out politically as business as usual of the bubble of the monarchic ecosystem, but on Friday the balloon was burst by the minister of Economy, Jaume Giró, exposing the economic rationality of the sovereignism. Talking about the fiscal deficit, about infrastructures that spend decades in limbo or about how anti-economic decisions of the State are centrally managed. Many of the demands could be perfectly shared beyond the sovereigntist position.
Businessmen speak of a strong and vigorous economic recovery. It would have to be accompanied by an equivalent responsibility at the political negotiating table.
Mas-Colell, from Gante to Gante
In 1967 Andreu Mas-Colell was 21 years old and was tried by the Public Order Tribunal (TOP) for his anti-Francoist activities as a promoter of the Sindicat Democràtic d'Estudiants. On the court was Jaime Mariscal de Gante, who went from judge of first instance and instruction number 14 in Barcelona to examining magistrate of the TOP. When the Francoist court was abolished, it passed to the Audiencia Nacional.
Today Mas-Colell and 40 other civil servants of the Generalitat are waiting for the decision of another Mariscal de Gante who can ruin them through another special court, the Court of Auditors. Margarita Mariscal de Gante, ex-minister of Justice of Aznar, and daughter of Jaime Mariscal de Gante, will meet again with Mas-Colell, on his 77th birthday.
Professor Andreu Mas-Colell has dedicated his life to the academy and to the democratic commitment with Catalonia.
The lawyer Adela Tarrón, in her doctoral thesis Jurisdictions, courts and special courts in Spain during the 20th century and their practice in Catalonia explains how during the 20th century 42 special jurisdictions, courts and tribunals were set up outside the ordinary jurisdiction. For every ideological discomfort, a court for Freemasons and various disaffected people. Spanish democracy has to mature and put an end to the special administrative courts that do the dirty work of politics, democratise justice and talk about the future at a negotiating table.