jueves, 26 de octubre de 2017
Thursday, 26 October 2017
Eleven o’clock. Catalunya's last day in freedom. Few people seem to have any hope left. Their silence is deafening, faces are stern, shoulders bent. The number of Catalan flags on balconies, a common feature of the last three, four years, has distinctly diminished. At the Generalitat, all kinds of palace revolutions seem to have broken out, with many trying to save their asses when it's too late anyway. All blame will fall on Carles Puigdemont, whatever his final decision: republic, elections or nothing. He knew what he was up to when he took over from Artur Mas after the latter was disqualified for public function for organizing the mock referendum of November 2014. Three long years ago, everybody full of excitement. I was allowed to vote that day, as municipal censes were used, and stood in a long line on a cold, drizzling Sunday. Smiling seniors, joking adults. It was the day I decided to finally learn some Catalan. Although my head is quite full with three active languages and my nights are short, I at least managed to read and understand it well. Speaking is a different thing with Spanish always available, though I pay my dues in shops.
It was Puigdemont's role to take the process, called mockingly prucess, to its final consequences, always hoping for a surprise solution in the form of a Basque-like arrangement. When it didn't come, of course not, he had to call the dreaded referendum. By now the freshness had worn off the movement, so many years out in the streets. Calling 1-O back in May opened people's hearts again, though the feeling it might all come too late wouldn't wane that summer. 1-O itself made independence inevitable. There was nothing to be gained from government interference when hordes of Spaniards were singing “a por ellos” to their police on the way to Catalunya and later filled the streets of Barcelona to demand hard action against the traitors. Run while you can. Yet Puigdemont faltered. In a brilliant speech in which he made clear to have his finger on the new clear button, he offered Rajoy a final chance to see the madness of his plan, the senseless economic destruction it will entail, all over Spain, and come to an agreed settlement. Yet no response came. Madrid was prepared and not going to let her prize escape. As I wrote before, the way everything is developing, the reactions it garners around the world, it all seems a giant psyop. With the ECB lifting or loosening its money programme, Spain's economy is going to take another big hit, and to ensure dear pal Rajoy's full collaboration he was granted to have a go at Catalunya, stealing Madrid's way out of misery. This is what the zona alta has known all along. I'm sure their money knows it too.
Now Puigdemont is up for punishment. If Mas was in on the game, as one is tempted to accept, then Puigi must have known it too. Was he hoping to get out, anyway, be the fifth Beatle, or awaits him a symbolic jail term with quiet release when attention has faded? This is how they punish the few corruptors who have been too blatantly in their looting of public funds to escape prison. They go in with all saddles blazing and leave through the backdoor without the press making mention. But what of all the people who are going to lose their jobs? Madrid can make this as bad as they want. They can go full revenge, as Soraya's eyes seem to suggest, or they can be motioned into a light version by the hypocrites up in Brussels. The top tier will be gone for sure, perhaps they can save themselves on a lower level, everybody else is at the mercy of sweet power. I guess the best we can do is stay together and brace ourselves.
Mr Rajoy himself is no more than a pawn in this game, in the end. Although he will be lauded for his fine work, he may even call elections and pass on the baton, the real force are the vested interests of Castilla. It's their country and they take as they please. They have always done so and democracy was never more than an excuse to be taken up in the European family. Should we be proud to have forced them to take off their masks? Basques, beware!
And meanwhile, up in the sky, planes are spraying like mad to ensure the weekend will be rainy in the midst of the hottest, driest autumn on record.
Fins la república sempre!