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Catalonia

A complex and unstable political situation

Wednesday 1 November 2017, by Andreu Coll

The proclamation of the independent republic of Catalonia on 27 October was exclusively symbolic, because it has not translated into any administrative act nor will to exercise authority in the territory.

It was not possible to create a state for three basic reasons:
- The Generalitat lacked the means to put it in place (so-called "state structures").

- It was impossible to avoid a violent conflict with the Spanish State, which has always been opposed by the "proces" (a contraction of the sovereignist process that defines everything that is linked to the movement for the right to decide in Catalonia).

- It is doubtful there is an overtly independentist social majority that is able to maintain a conflict with these characteristics.

Weakness (es) of the Catalan Government

We have enough information to interpret the recent events.

- The referendum of 1 October was held fundamentally thanks to the civil society (Omnium, Catalan National Assembly, but also the Committees of defense of the referendum much more decided) and to the volunteers, in spite of the passivity of the Govern (Catalan autonomous government ) and its officials. The Govern would have simply denounced the repression if the referendum had not been able to take place.

- The Govern had been aware since the beginning of the impossibility of putting into practice the mandate of 1 October, given the central government’s refusal to negotiate and the impossibility of resolving the problem of power (since the state is ready to use violence to the end).

- The proposal of Puigdemont on 26 October - not to implement the UDI (unilateral declaration of independence) and to convene ordinary elections - was thwarted not so much by the apparent willingness of the PP (Popular Party) to maintain the the application of Article 155 but by the desire to avoid a fracture of the independence bloc.

- The Govern avoided aggravating the situation and called for no resistance plan to defend the republic on 27 October. It preferred to protect itself from repression in the short term and to internationalize the conflict by directly appealing to the states and European institutions, even if it accepts the electoral challenge of Rajoy.

Lasting political crisis

Despite the confusion created by the Catalan government "in exile", the demoralization caused by the lack of concrete calls for mobilization, and the fact that the Prosecutor General Maza has aligned itself with Rajoy’s otherwise daring strategy. the open political crisis in the Spanish state remains of great importance for several reasons:

- Article 155 creates a very serious antidemocratic precedent, which can be generalized against any autonomous community that does not like monarchical tripartism (PP, Ciudadanos, PSOE), and in particular to the most corrupt party in Europe ( the PP), with all that implies in terms of the risk of political regression.

- The governmental formula of monarchical tripartism places, in the medium and long term, the PSOE on the path of an irreversible historical decline, after it has contributed to Rajoy remaining in the minority in the presidency, and that he has helped to transform itself into de facto president of the Generality while being the weakest force of the parliament of Catalonia), and has no spare part to avoid the erosion of the whole system.

- The monarchy has emerged weakened, playing a clearly authoritarian and threatening role, very far from the role of moderator and arbitrator attributed to it by the Constitution.

That is why we must maintain support for the right to self-determination and a struggle to open a constituent process in Catalonia, which can be generalized to the rest of the State and reaffirms the need to break with the monarchical regime of 1978 which, as demonstrated by the Catalan crisis, is nothing but the reformed Franco regime.

P.S.

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