Turning the page on the spirit of revenge
The foreseeable refusal of the PSOE to consider an amnesty does not make the the initiative that this Tuesday took to the Spanish Parliament the Catalan pro-independence parties, at the initiative of Òmnium Cultural devoid of sense. On the contrary. Insisting and staging in Madrid this possibility of effective détente is a necessary civic and political gesture, both towards Catalan society and international public opinion. In Catalonia, the dwindling hard core of the unionist right is very much alone in defending the repressive punishment of prisoners, exiles and the thousands of people affected by the various legal cases underway. A different feeling prevails among socialist voters. The desire for détente is widely shared beyond the pro-independence movement. More than turning the page, as socialist candidate Salvador Illa defended in the campaign, what the bulk of the population wants is to give real dialogue a chance. What the vast majority of Catalans want is to turn the page on the spirit of revenge, on the duality between winners and losers. What the people want is, in short, for politics to return, and for it to return without falling into the naivety of magical solutions on either side. By means of masterstrokes, independentism alienates many people and deactivates sympathy. And vice versa: through judicial repression, independentism will not disappear, but rather be strengthened. This is what the PSOE should understand sooner rather than later, and have the courage to act accordingly.
We are not, however, in this scenario. Despite the coalition with Podemos, Pedro Sánchez is not making any moves regarding Catalonia. He remains entrenched on the side, in this case, of PP, Vox and Cs. Now we will have to see what effect Pablo Iglesias's departure from the Spanish government will have. At first glance, it does not seem likely to bring about any change in this regard. In fact, the strong instability in which has set into Spanish politics makes a hypothetical solution to the Catalan problem seem more distant. The polarised elections in Madrid now make it more difficult for the government to take any steps towards accepting the Catalan reality, the reality of a problem that, at the cost of ignoring it, has not ceased to make its expansive wave felt in the capital of the State. In any case, in the face of this probable prolonged paralysis, the future Catalan government, if it is finally formed by ERC and JxCat, and the sovereignist bloc as a whole - the more, the merrier - would have to defend Òmnium's commitment to amnesty, but without renouncing to any other means of détente that would one day allow the judicialisation to be put on the back burner and put politics back in the foreground. A democratic movement like the pro-independence movement should never be afraid to play in the field of the ballot box and politics, despite the harshness of Spanish state nationalism. With Cs in a process of unpredictable decomposition, the PSOE now has less room for manoeuvre. The deputies of the Catalan groups in Congress, then, will have to use their decisive strength in coordination in the coming months, both for crucial governance issues (European funds or competences) and to denounce repression and bring Pedro Sánchez to the negotiating arena.