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Catalan Chronicles – 20D: European Justice imposes defeat on Spanish State. What now?

The chronicle of what is happening in Catalonia goes from the grotesque to the dramatic and from the latter to the circus. The state is acting on its own, without anyone daring to rule over some strata (of that state), which are: some democratic, but the majority anti-democratic, pre-democratic or, directly, fascist followers of the Franco era.

This is particularly the case in the army, in the judiciary, in the Guardia Civil and police, in high officials. This is the legacy of the model “transition”: the submission of the parties to these de facto powers and to the economic power of those who stole during Franco’s reign. All crowned by a king hitchhiked by Franco and transmuted “into democracy”. It was never possible to vote on whether to have a monarchy or a republic.

But now the Catalan “procés” is stripping away the old clothes and the king is getting more and more naked. And the one that is being most pointed out as the retaining wall of the ’78 regime is the judiciary. The European judiciary, in different countries, such as Belgium or Germany, has already twice put the Spanish courts in their place, rejecting undemocratic procedures for requesting extraditions of representatives for political reasons.

But the latest rappelling has a background charge that will hardly be able to prevent it from impacting on a political crisis. It will widen the crack of the ’78 regime. The Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg has ruled that the prisoner Oriol Junqueras has been a member of parliament since he won the elections and that all the obstacles, including a pre-drafted sentence that sentenced him to 13 years, are worthless. At the same time, this European ruling has also given Puigdemont and Comín their status as MEPs, and they have already collected their credentials. In other words, in one fell swoop, the entire Spanish legal edifice has fallen like a house of cards.

Meanwhile in the streets of Barcelona, Catalonia, the democratic Tsunami continues to call for rallies in favour of the right to self-determination and for the Spanish state “SitAndTalk”. The last one in front of the “classic” Barça-Madrid that, as it happens lately, ended in altercations, charges, wounded and arrests.

The legal establishment reacted to the European sentence by condemning – a few hours after the other sentence! – the president of the Generalitat to disqualification for…disobeying the electoral commission and not hanging up a banner on the political prisoners in the stipulated time. A counter-programming already planned to show “who is in charge” in the laws in Spain.

The same is true of the public prosecutor’s reaction to the European sentence, calling for “Junqueras must remain in prison and carry out his sentence of disqualification now”, which means the loss of his status as an MEP. A sample of the earthquake and state of mind that this European sentence has generated in the state. Yes, this European sentence has opened an important waterway.

So what’s next? Recognition of the defeat of the judiciary is deliberately delayed, but it will come. What would have to be done immediately would be to enforce the law and release Junqueras. The Supreme Court judge who tried him, Marchena, has given the parties five days to make their proposals… The prosecution has already said what it wants. The fascist VOX party, as the “people’s charge,” we also know what they will say. But… what about the state’s attorney?

ERC has suspended negotiations to form a government until it sees how the advocacy depending on the acting government of the PSOE is pronounced. However, the PSOE is trying to raise its profile and “is not going to give any instructions” to its lawyers, saying furthermore that “the situation must be de-judged” through dialogue. Dialogue? While the state continues to repress and violate European laws?

The defeat of the Francoist state that survives within the monarchy of Philip VI is closer. However, it will still offer resistance. And before the eyes of more citizens of Catalonia, of the Spanish state and of Europe and the world, the image of a regime whose skeleton is based on the very bones of the dictatorship, appears ever clearer. Spain is not a democracy that can even be compared to the worn-out European democracies.

But what is interesting is that in the midst of the crisis, a step forward has been taken by the sovereignty and independence lefts in Catalonia with the Republican Convention held on 14D, a date that commemorates an important general strike throughout Spain. A serious dialogue has begun, which seeks to go beyond the electoral battles that remain on the horizon. A dialogue that can make real the elaboration of a common strategy of the progressive and left-wing sovereignty, with bridges towards the other peoples of the state. A strategy that is urgently needed to reach common and effective action in the face of a major crisis of the approaching regime.




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  • Pedro Fuentes
  • Bernardo Corrêa
  • Charles Rosa
  • Clara Baeder