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“If the elections are held on December 21, the vast majority of independence leaders will be in prison!”

Sunday 29 October 2017, by Andreu Coll

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As the crisis in Catalonia deepened with the proclamation of independence and the Spanish government’s decision to dissolve the Catalonian government on Friday 27 Ocotober Andreu Coll of Anticapitalistes (Fourth Internationalists in Catalonia) spoke to Antoine Larrache of l’Anticapitaliste. Translation by International Viewpoint.

What have been Rajoy’s decisions regarding the proclamation of independence?

Rajoy has called elections for December 21 in Catalonia. He has taken control. Formally, he is the president of the Generalitat and Saturday morning he will concretize, with all the secretaries of State, how to take control of the Generalitat. They have dissolved all the international organizations of the Generalitat (the delegations abroad) except that in Brussels. They have even dissolved the delegation of the Generalitat in Madrid. They have broken the mandate of 140 members of the government, well beyond the councillors, president and vice-president. They have also dissolved the Catalan parliament and called the elections. They have dismissed the political chief of police and the under-secretary of the interior. The Minister of the Interior is taking direct charge of the Catalan police.

It’s amazing because everyone thought that Rajoy was going to call the elections later, in June. But he finally decided to hold them as soon as possible. We will see if they will ban the separatist parties. On Monday, there will also be a complaint from the State Attorney General against the entire government, the president and perhaps the deputies who voted for independence. This is more difficult because the vote took place by secret ballot to avoid the repression.

Puigdemont will be accused of rebellion, he faces 30 years in prison! The Jordis are in prison for sedition, a less serious charge, so it is possible that on Monday the police will arrest the members of the government and give them a preventive sentence.

What can the Catalan government do?

It is difficult because there are now two legalities. According to Spanish law, the head of the Generalitat is Rajoy and Catalonia is part of the Spanish state ... There has therefore been the proclamation of independence, but it is not possible to impose the authority of the Generalitat on the territory.

On Saturday morning, there is an executive council meeting, made illegal. As soon as the decisions of the Council of Ministers are published in the official bulletin, everything that Puigdemont does will be added to the charges already standing against him ... notably that of usurpation of public office. If the elections are held on December 21, the vast majority of independence leaders will not be able to stand because they will be in prison!

Why did Puigdemont finally proclaim independence?

If Puigdemont had not proclaimed independence, it would have led to a break in the independence camp. When he put forward the idea of calling elections on Thursday, two members of parliament resigned and there was an internal revolt in his party, PDeCAT. So he did not dare to do it. Moreover, he was pushed by the government’s refusal to withdraw section 155. The majority of mayors in the provinces indicated that they would leave the party if he did not go all the way.

How will the population react?

There will be a mass movement to support the government, a movement that will be peaceful. The dynamics will accelerate. On Saturday, the government will decide how to take control of the Generalitat. But there could be a huge chaos, because of the arrests and the arrival of the Spanish authorities at each council. The other question is what will the Mossos, the Catalan police, do. The situation is very tense, there have already been clashes between the national police and the Mossos. Rajoy wants to use the Mossos for repression and this will further divide this body.

Anti-Capitalists in Catalonia have just issued a press release Defend the Catalan Republic and open the Constituent Process stressing the importance of a constituent process, particularly to involve sectors that are not pro-independence, but above all to discuss the social content of the movement for a change of society. We also insist on the need to broaden the dynamics beyond Catalonia. It also depends on the general dynamic: mobilization will be peaceful at first, but there may be violent repression.

Solidarity initiatives all over Europe are important for us, to encourage us and weaken Rajoy.


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