In English Voices From Spain

The cruel reality

Originally published in English. Sandra Leon. El Pais

It is possible that from now on the economy becomes the moderating factor in the ‘procés’

The answers to the actions initiated by the Government of Catalonia during the last few weeks can be summarized, following an old theory, in the types: Loyalty, Voice and Exit. Whereas Loyalty supported the Government in its determination for calling a referendum, the Voice and the Exit have gained relevance in the days before the declaration of independence: The Voice, with the demonstration for the unity of Spain last Sunday; the Exit, represented by the decision of some companies to move their corporate headquarters outside of Catalonia.

Some of the Loyal are already in the streets and have always been in advance of even Puigdemont’s timetable. This group is probably bound to be disappointed sooner or later. If the transition time for a deferred UDI is extended, the epic feeling will eventually end. The reverse of the hopes fueled by the ‘procés’ will appear as frustration with weakening effect on the internal cohesion of the secessionist block, although the reaction of central Government can delay the appearance of the internal fractures for a time.

The Voice of those who oppose the independence of Catalonia has only been heard in the last minute, but probably it would have been futile that they were heard before. The pro-independence movement is not interested in attracting the moderates from that group since it abandoned long ago the idea of trying to broaden its social base. It has preferred to ignore that reality despite its meager majority, trusting in the improbable electoral cohesion of the constitutional block.

On the other hand, the Exit of businesses represents the opposition without voice that moves back to the economic plane the future of the secessionist movement. Years ago, the pro-independence discourse increased the diversity of its base by adding economic issues to identity-related appeals. Maybe, in the opposite direction, from now on the economy becomes the main moderating factor of the ‘procés’, waking up the Government for its epic reverie without invoking votes or laws, manifesting the cruel reality of the limits of political power.



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