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United Front Towards What?

They talk about unity when they do not even want it 

After the pro-independence movement went from 23 MPs and 14 senators in the last Spanish elections —37 members between the two chambers— to 14 MPs —on Friday, after the final count, we will know if there are even fewer— and 4 senators —18 members between the Congress and the Senate— the only statement heard from Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya’s (ERC) and Junts per Catalunya’s headquarters was about the need to form a united front in Madrid

I am not against this initiative, since I wish they were capable of agreeing on something substantive, but I believe —the results make this clear— that they have not understood anything of what happened to them last Sunday. They went from 37 to 18 MPs, which means they lost over half of them, and they have hardly batted an eyelid.

They talk about unity when they do not even want it, and they can not agree on anything. Nor do they agree to set a joint objective.

Demonstration called by the Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC) in Barcelona’s Sant Jaume square in reaction to the results of the elections to the Spanish Congress and the performance of the Catalan parties, in Barcelona, Spain, 24 July 2023. The ANC considers that the independence of Catalonia is the only way to resolve the national conflict between Catalonia and Spain. PHOTO BY MARC ASENSIO/GETTY IMAGES

They have broken all past agreements! In just over nine months they have split in the Catalan government, they have tripped each other up as much as they could in local pacts, they deceived each other to shameful extremes to try to make their rivals lose out, and not a day goes by without serious accusations between one and the other. 

To cite the last two, Junts accused Esquerra of making a pact with the PSC to destroy them after the pact between ERC and the Socialists in the Barcelona Provincial Council, and Catalan minister for Foreign Affairs, Meritxell Serret, accused Junts of using foreign action for political attacks like the right and the far-right do. 

Of course not, they know it and the people, the pro-independence voters, realise it every day. Everyone will hold one of them responsible, but none of them is spared from the electoral consequences. The blanket does not cover their feet, and they are left out in the open. 

The longer it takes them to realise this, the longer it will take them to react, because they could still sink even further. There will be no joint strategy because there are no joint interests, just as there is no joint parliamentary group. There are joint appearances, which is usual in Catalan politics and, over the years, has become a speciality.

One can see there is a lot of interest in quickly moving on after last Sunday’s election and many fast-thinkers chipping in, trying to set the stage for the negotiation which everyone presumes will take place to get out of the complex labyrinth caused by the provisional election results, pending the vote cast abroad, to be counted on Friday, which will set the definitive MP distribution. 

One day former MP Jaume Asens appears as the Commons’ spokesperson, a lawyer appreciated in Waterloo, but with no role in a future negotiation, since the prime minister’s investiture corresponds to the PSOE. 

Anotherday telephone conversations between Marta Rovira and Jordi Turull are given an importance they do not truly have. Everyone talks to everyone here, but I sincerely do not believe that Barcelona and Geneva will end up having a central and definitive role in the prime minister’s investiture, much less the last word.

Produced in association with El Nacional En

(Additional reporting provided by El Nacional En)

Edited by and

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