The prosaic outcome of the Juvillà case
Pau Juvillà was sentenced by the Catalonia's High Court to a six-month disqualification and a €1,080 fine for not removing a yellow ribbon from his office at Lleida city council, of which he was alderman during the municipal elections of 2019. Thereafter, the Central Electoral Board urged Parliament to enforce the ban of the now MP, setting this Friday as a deadline for effective compliance, without waiting for the Supreme Court to resolve the precautionary measures that both Parliament and Juvillà himself have requested. Stripping the CUP MP of his seat is an unacceptable and disproportionate external interference by an administrative body such as the Electoral Board. Moreover, according to Parliament's procedure rules, the case in question does not meet any of the conditions for Juvillà to lose his seat or to be suspended. Thus, the bottom line is obvious: Juvillà would have to continue as MP.
From this point onwards, we enter the realm of means and political strategy. In this field, once again there has been gesticulation but we have ended up with the same prosaic result as in the case of former Catalan president Quim Torra. It has been much symbolic ado about nothing. There has been a flirtation with suspending parliamentary activity and an appeal to the regulations not to strip Juvillà of his seat until the ruling is final. But, in practice, with the predictable and logical argument of not harming the civil servants who would have to disobey, as pointed out by the Statute of Deputies commission made public this Wednesday, everything indicates that Juvillà will be deprived of his rights as an MP. This end that was written from the beginning. The result of Torra's case during Torrent's speakership and Juvillà's during Borràs's will be the same.
When symbolic gestures of apparent resistance require so much effort to carry out and are so ephemeral and wearing, it would be better to save them and be clear and transparent with public opinion: at this point of the sovereigntist struggle against the State, and the repression it uses, people are already mature enough to understand what the real situation is and what the imbalance of forces is. Crashing again and again against the legal wall of the political judicialisation is a way of installing Catalan politics, and more specifically the independence movement, in permanent frustration and impotence. The message is one of pessimism and paralysis, a message that goes beyond Parliament itself and which, whether we want it or not, extends to the actions of the pro-independence coalition government. Perhaps this parliamentary game, difficult to understand for the untrained public as it may be, makes injustice more visible. However, it comes at too high a cost, weakening the institution itself and, in parallel, showing the difficulties of rebuilding any kind of real unity of pro-sovereignty action, as we saw this Wednesday, when CUP leaders stood up president Aragonès in what was meant to be the first meeting to rebuild pro-independence consensus.