18/06/2021

Towards the reconstruction of the country

2 min
People strolling in Portal de Àngel in Barcelona

A new economic, political and social cycle is beginning. The events of recent weeks suggest that things are beginning to change. The climate is one of political détente, of gestures to prepare the ground for dialogue. With the pandemic on its last legs - from the 26th we will be able to take off our face masks outdoors - the time is clearly ripe for an economic upturn. No one expects miracles, but after the coronavirus disaster, three years of turbulence in the streets and instability in the institutions in Barcelona and Madrid, this new beginning is a breath of fresh air. And we must take advantage of it, first of all to relieve people's worries - the social precariousness is worrying - to encourage business activity and to bring the sovereignty conflict back to the political arena.

The imminent granting of pardons to pro-independence political prisoners by the government of Pedro Sánchez opens a window of opportunity. The backing the measure has received, first from those affected, then within the most nationalist ranks of the PSOE and in recent days by the Catalan and Spanish business community - as well as Catalan bishops - has left the triple right out of the game for the moment with its irresponsible thirst for revenge. Despite the fact that, according to the polls, public opinion in the State as a whole (and of course published opinion, and even more so in the judiciary) is highly resistant to any concession to the Catalan independence movement, the Spanish government is determined to take the risk of opening a period of "concord", that is, to try the path of dialogue with Catalonia. In the same vein, without euphoria or renunciation, the Catalan coalition government sees pardons not as a solution, but as an opportunity, and is also determined to play the game of dialogue and negotiation. President Pere Aragonès's symbolic visit to exiled former president Carles Puigdemont in Waterloo seals, from different strategic views, the bet for a joint government, which includes sitting at the table of dialogue with the State with an initial perspective of two years.

There is, moreover, a common framework: in Madrid and in Barcelona, and among all players, both economic and political, there is a tacit agreement to prioritise economic recovery and social relief, two objectives for which it is essential to reduce the post Independence bid tension by reducing the strength and prominence of judicial repression. To make this possible, it will require persistence and skill from all sides. Political détente is surely due more more to parliamentary arithmetic, general exhaustion and impotence, and responsibility in the face of what covid-19 has entailed than ideological conviction. And, furthermore, it will have to make its way through an obstacle course. One need only think of the harm that the para-judicial action of the Court of Auditors, with its arbitrary economic persecution of independence, could do in the coming weeks. Undoubtedly, then, despite the economic and health optimism that points to a rapid exit from the pandemic crisis, this change in the political climate will not be automatic, nor is it guaranteed.

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