El periodisme que l'actualitat necessita

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Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, the leaders of the main pro-independence grassroots groups in Catalonia, will be questioned today in Madrid’s Audiencia Nacional [1]. There is a chance that both of them might be jailed, pending trial, without legal grounds. We will see what happens and let us hope that it won’t come to that.

Meanwhile, the Spanish authorities are becoming increasingly belligerent in every area. For instance, they have brought in an unthinkable piece of legislation which allows companies based in Catalonia to fast-track moving their legal headquarters to Spain, as if someone was keeping them here against their will. Yesterday Banc de Sabadell decided to move their legal HQ to Alacant, in a gesture that is more propagandistic than effective. Caixabanc will follow suit today. Their scramble to cover all bases should not be overlooked and is reminiscent of the double-talk that used to plague Catalan politics. Even though for years Josep Oliu, the Banc de Sabadell CEO, has had a luxury office ready for him in Madrid’s calle Serrano, right next to the US embassy, it turns out that his bank is moving to Alacant instead. How can we explain such a bizarre move? Unlike Madrid, neither Alacant nor Palma can meet the operational and logistical conditions that both banks require nowadays. Yet they are not moving to the Spanish capital. And they are not moving there because, obviously, coming back to Barcelona will be much easier [from Alacant and Palma than from Madrid] and perhaps because they think that we might forget their gesture and one day they will come up with a good yarn about how they withstood Rajoy’s pressure to move to Madrid. They must think we were born yesterday …

Belligerence is also apparent in the streets, and this will increase in the coming days. Small far-right groups are going round hoping to provoke a response and large rallies are being held in Spanish cities by Spanish nationalists. Fascist leaders are openly and publicly urging to imprison Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, which further reveals Spain’s true face. For years we have had massive secessionist demonstrations without a single incident, but the minute Spain’s Guardia Civil and Police turn up, fascists groups begin to crop up, looking for trouble. Parallel to all this, direct censorship has raised its head, with newspapers such as Spanish daily El País sacking the last few rebels left in their newsroom. Meanwhile, Rajoy is growing increasingly bolder. Now he claims that no mediation is possible [between Madrid and Barcelona], that there is nothing to mediate over: surrender! Oh, and in a grand propaganda gesture, the Spanish army is opening up its barracks in Sant Boi, despite objections by the local authorities.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to the same thing: next Monday’s proclamation of independence is entirely credible and everyone believes it is a done thing. In Madrid they are scared to death: with only three days to go, they have very little room to manoeuvre. That is why they will pull all the stops and then some, as they realise that the situation will change dramatically after Monday. I don’t mean to say that it will be easy, but obviously nothing will be the same. Ever.

On this point, I feel that we should all be well aware that the response to everything —one that is definitive and emphatic— must come on Monday, either in the Catalan Parliament or wherever Catalan lawmakers might assemble. And we must act accordingly, preventing any action that might interfere with the plans of our parliament. I realise that people are anxious and distressed. Some of the events in the coming hours might be shocking. They will desperately try to push us off our track in any way they can. This must be met with a composed response. So please allow this mantra to slowly echo in your brain: “Monday, tick-tock; Monday, tick-tock; Monday, tick-tock”. The day after tomorrow is Sunday and, by Monday, everything will be just within a night’s distance.


Translator’s notes:

[1] Madrid’s Audiencia Nacional is a special court of law that only deals with major crimes, such as terrorism.

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