Pedro Sánchez: “Tomorrow we can change the lives of nine people and I hope that we will start changing the story of each and everyone. Catalonia, Catalans and Catalans, we respect you, we love you ”. With these words, the Spanish government has thrown its heart over the obstacle and hopes to start a backward path that reduces the harmful effects of ten years of political process that aimed at the disconnection of Catalonia from Spain.
The result to the state has been the Ulsterisation of the situation or a conflict in perennial stalemate, around the corner the Balkanization waiting for a Canadian solution as they would like in Madrid or a Scottish solution (through a negotiated referendum) as the separatists would like. Catalans. The latter reacted with a bittersweet position to the very unpopular measures of pardon that the Spanish government intends to adopt tomorrow against the ruling dome of independenceism; if for Puigdemont these are adopted because Spain feels the breath behind the unavailable European justice. To endorse the harshness of the measures adopted against political leaders, for the leaders of Esquerra Repubblicana these are the first steps to start a dialogue that over time can produce a solution favorable to the popular pronouncement about the permanence of Catalonia within the Kingdom of Spain. .
What is certain is that the status quo with the provision of tomorrow has been overcome, there will be no forced return of the disobedient region into the jaws of the central state, but there will be no more clumsy attempts to divide society through political gestures that have generated discord and also created damage to the economy. This last fact appears relevant, if nationalist populism has made its way in Europe also to counter the perverse effects of the crisis today, the mere chimera of independence is not considered sufficient, beyond its symbolic value, to imagine an independent Catalonia and separated from the rest of the Iberian region.
The socialist government anticipates the times and tries to create the best conditions in the meantime to make clear the desire to listen to each other and mutual awareness that the discord and the perennial state of conflict does not help any of the causes that are at stake. It is no coincidence that the pardon proceedings are strongly supported by the economic and financial circles that do not intend to sever ties with Madrid. Not everything is resolved but a lot of perspective depends on the new phase that is starting and that is displacing the far right of both sides that promote the proverbial: “So much the worse, the better.” In situations of conflict it is evident that it is necessary to try to remove the main obstacles and undoubtedly the severe sentences represented a distressing issue. Today the political prisoners are about to be released and it is a relief not only for them and their families but also for all the political rhetoric that has remained on the binomial Admisty-Self-determination.
We will see how persuasive the action of the Spanish government can be in the future, what is certain is that the independent leaders will not easily give up on the separatist perspective, “we will do it again” says one of their slogan; but they will return to do so by not repeating the missteps made in recent years, having failed in the objective of arousing suitable international alliances to promote secession. Now the stronger state must prove itself more flexible in perceiving the real will of a part of the Catalan people that in a significant part, but not absolutely the majority, has expressed itself for independence and its own self-determination. Sanchez’s is an attempt to move from the execution phase of the conflict to a political phase by assuming dialogue as doctrine and time as a reasonable ally to determine compromise solutions that will not satisfy the parties involved but which can be considered suitable for removing the consequences. of the conflict given that the causes of identity have their roots in the history of the Iberian region. Spain intends to take on the role of a leading nation in the construction of the common European horizon and it cannot be so since a territorial conflict as conspicuous and open as the Catalan one remains.
Europe pushes in the idea of creating large areas of strategic economic interest, and in them there is no doubt that Catalan dynamism is part of the objectives, but it certainly does not intend to promote separatism, secessions, small countries that would dramatically increase the difficulties of the balance within the Union. The monarchical dimension of Spain unfortunately does not allow a natural federal perspective, the Catalan region bowed to the Bourbon in a war of succession and since then has kept its republican spirit intact as it has been seen hard to quench even though more than two centuries have passed. However, history restarts from the attempt to prevent worse and incurable conflicts, the privilege of the post-covid phase is that the societies we are talking about are rich and evolved societies that can access the common values of tolerance of fraternity and solidarity that are the expressions of the modern democratic constitutions that inspire the great European nations. For this reason, a test of maturity, courage and political realism is expected from the ruling classes.