Misc 22/11/2020

To sow salt

Esther Vera
3 min
Sembrar sal

There is a blood component in Spanish politics that endures in history and does not expire with the generational change. A Neapolitan air of penetrating, painful screaming, a list of infidels and a deformed duel between the extreme right and left.

Spanish politics likes shouting terrifying adjectives in the hemicycle, as well as clamouring accusations of treason and fighting in the name of the dead. The atmosphere is especially ignoble when the right wing finds itself in the opposition and one has to see how the victims of ETA are being used against the socialist government in the same week that marks the 20th anniversary of Ernest Lluch's assassination. Pettiness should shame politicians who are incapable of compromise, incapable of dialogue, and incapable of making truces of demagogy even when the country is in flames.

This has been the tone in Congress for another week, with the PP renewing the error of the signatures against language diversity without having learned from the error of the signatures against Catalonia to challenging the Estatut. Lists against infidels that pretend to preserve the Catalan language in school putting in risk the Spanish one. Lists that ignore that reality is a mostly Spanish-speaking society: on the streets, in the media, in the courts, and in schoolyards.

The PP continues to be trapped by Vox and by Aznar, whom on Monday accused the PSOE of being "a platform of Podemos" and Sánchez of being "a useful fool", and threatened Casado with "exercising his stripes". He excited an unbridled PP, positioned against the normalization of Bildu and ERC in Spanish politics through the general State budget agreements with the PSOE.

Accepting the institutional participation of democratic independence does not enter into the plans of the PP, always angry and traumatized when it leaves power because citizens invite it to rule from the opposition, and unable to cooperate responsibly whatever the cost. But the PP is not alone against Bildu; it is accompanied by the old guard of the PSOE, represented by old glories like Alfonso Guerra, who says he represents those who suffer from "a lump in the throat for shouting "Con Bildu, no!" Guerra illustrates that old age does not protect you against stupidity, and politically he represents the arrogant and paternalistic Jacobinism that has suffocated moderate Catalanism and turned half of Catalans into sovereigntists who see no other option but to turn their backs on a moth-eaten state in order to survive.

From Spanish rapture to Catalan rapture

The outburst in Spanish politics has been replicated this week by the Catalan government.

A coalition three months before elections means bad business, and with a vice-president acting as president feeling that any gesture of leadership will be reproached by his partners, and will come across as an usurpation of the position of the umpteenth repressed politician. These days, more than ever, it is clear that President Torra's gesture of immolation could be aesthetic, but it was neither useful nor positive for a country that is sinking into a serious crisis and that demands intense, responsible, and ungrateful management.

Neither the changes in the Labour Ministry announced at night, nor the self-interested Government leaks on such a key issue as de-escalation, nor the empty chairs in work meetings are reassuring for a citizenry who finds itself on an economic and psychological edge.

After a bad harvest

Grandpa Vila Miralles made him a proposal when he finished high school. He would give him either a loom, or a motorbike. The young Antoni Vila Casas chose the loom, and by selling fabrics, he bought a Montesa.

I interview him on Wednesday in a splendid modernist house, which houses his foundation and part of his extensive collection. He is the last bourgeois. He made his fortune in the pharmaceutical industry and has spent the last twenty years collecting Catalan art and sponsoring health and culture. At the entrance, a book illustrated by Miquel Barceló, the Aurea dictates, opened in a quote from Seneca. The c of constancy says that "one must also sow after a bad harvest". You have to get by, but since ancient times one of the tragic condemnations has been to sow salt. It is time to rebuild the country and the citizens know it. The self-employed who don't invoice and pay taxes know it, the health workers who are on the edge, the restaurateurs and merchants who will never be able to open their businesses again, the people of the cultural industry who are living precariously, the youngsters who are making an effort to comply with rules that are not always right. Do our rulers also know it?