mércores, 22 de outubro de 2014

Entre les espases i les parets // Between the devil and the deep blue sea (by Miquel Strubell) #Catalonia #indyref

Moitas grazas a Miquel Strubell por este artigo sobre a situación de Catalunya. Miquel nos advirte que non é unha tradución literal. Algunhas expresións están feitas de xeito moi xenuino e as explica de xeito abreviado. Pero é unha versión do artigo orixinal. 

Mais artigos de Miquel Strubell // More articles by Miquel Strubell:

Thank you so much to Miquel Strubell for sharing with us this article about Catalonia's situation. 
Miquel says: "You see it is not a literal translation. Some expressions have made ​​the most genuine, I explained some abbreviations. But it is a version of the original"



In my opinion (modest: I am not political scientist or a professional analyst!) Mariano Rajoy and Artur Mas find themselves trapped by powerful external and internal forces.

On the external - international – front, I'm sure Mariano Rajoy is receiving messages from everywhere (from the chancelleries and embassies, I imagine; and from the most prestigious international media, as I can see for my own eyes) saying that he cannot go on obstinately denying the lelementary exercise, by the Catalans, of their right to vote on their future. He cannot it do so by taking refuge behind a Constitution that is not immutable, and he cannot do so by wrapping in discursive gymnastic institutions that do not form part of the executive power, such as the Council of State and the Constitutional Court (and moreover, calling them to heel at the blow of a whistle). He cannot go on describing as a «illegal referendum» an exercise of popular will, an official poll designed in the framework of the powers of the instututions of Catalonia (the Generalitat) according to a Spanish organic law  - the 2006 Statute of Autonomy – the only such law to have put under the scrutiny of the Constitutional Court. Mister Rajoy, they tell him, this is a political problem that requires a political solution, not one based on horrendous and penal threats.

But Mariano Rajoy is trapped internally by  his own discourse. He and his people have elaborated a clearly anti-Catalan discourse, of which there are many examples, some  untranslatable into English or other purportedly civilised languages. He is trapped because he has being digging a pit between Catalonia and the rest of Spain that is getting ever deeper, because of the series of decisions that increasing harm Catalonia, however much they put on offended “Who? Me?” faces, behind their spectacles, in shows of surprise and incomprehension before the new round of victimhood that the Catalans take so dearly to. How it Rajoy now sit down with the Catalans and negotiate the terms of the referendum? His people would publicly lynch him. They would never understand. They go on repeating (and I suppose they actually believe it) that it is we  Catalans that break the laws (which ones, I would like to know!) when it is they that have failed to implement dozens of TC judgments which are favourable to Catalonia. It is they (and in fact, it hardly matters who's in charge in Madrid!) that breach with apparent impunity the 3rd Transitory Article of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy, on the funding of infrastructures in Catalonia.

Senyor Mas  also has his devil and his deep blue sea.
On the international scene, he knows perfectly well (and I'm certain that ministers, ambassadors and European commissioners have told him) than the independence of Catalonia will not be recognised if it drifts into a illegal dynamic, with open clashes with the State, with disobedience. Moody's has said just that. I imagine that the manages of the thousands of multinationals that operate in (and from) Catalonia have also told him. I doubt anyone has said (in private, needless to say) that Catalonia will not be recognised if it uses democratic means to attain it. I am certain that a number of diplomats, politicians and journalists have let him have very critical opinions as regards the attempts of Spain's diplomacy to ensure the international isolation of Catalonia, even by putting the pressure on the organisers of events in which the Catalans explain ouselves abroad. But at the end of the process (when Mas said from the very first that he would step down from power) the president cannot want to leave in his successor's hands a country whose independence has not been recognised.

And turning now to the interior, the president of Catalonia and of the Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya party is subjected to many apparently contradictory pressures. He knows that the disobedience that some demand would put at risk the career of civil servants and many politicians: if the ultra-rightwing association “Manos Limpias” were to have its way, they would all end up in prison. But at the same time he knows that unless he ruffles his plumage in front of Spain's powerful machinery, his party will never win the next election. He takes for granted that the long-standing coalition partner Unió Democràtica de Catalunya will no longer accompany Convergència (after all, he hasn't disqualified the recent public statements by its leader Duran i Lleida): but inasmuch as this ballast put in doubt the credibility of the coalition, as regards the issue of independence, and lost plenty of their voters in the 2102 election, this likelihood should not keep Mas awake at night.

Hovering at the very back of all this, people talk of a currently non-existent “third way”. Scotland's experience shows that the last-minute offer of considerably increased devolution for Scottish by all three large British parties explains the reason for a quarter of the No votes finding their way into the ballot boxes. My impression is that the credibility of the Spanish political class, even of those that are not queueing up in the courts to answer charges, is close to zero; and that an offer of this type would not substantially dent the huge advantage the Catalans' Yes vote has according to all solvent surveys.

Between the devils and the deep blue sea, we'll find our way out to freedom!

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