Welcome to the final stage (Opinion)
VILAWEB – Article by director Vicent Partal
President Puigdemont was asked on Wednesday how long he would leave President Rajoy to answer the letter in which he asked for negotiation over the referendum. The answer was that the letter would arrive the same day and that, as the question was an important one, he did not expect him to say anything within forty-eight hours. Puigdemont was wrong and Rajoy took hardly minutes to give a reply that marks the beginning of the final stage: no to everything.
This brings on a new situation, which the Parliament of Catalonia and the government will logically make official when they see fit, and that is that it is not necessary to wait for anyone. Catalonia has shown great interest in resolving the problem through negotiation in order not to cause disturbance, but given the state’s staunch refusal, the Parliamentary majority must simply fulfil the mandate that the citizens gave it. We voted them to give us independence in eighteen months and they have to do so. Bearing in mind, that is, that it will not be eighteen, but rather twenty from the time there was a government, or twenty-three if we count from the formation of the Parliament. After centuries of wait, and given the complications there have been to get this far, I don’t think this makes much of a difference.
So now the referendum has to be held in the second fortnight of September, 1 October at the latest. It has to have a clear question and the law of transition has to make very clear the legal gateway that will allow us to proclaim the Republic if the result is in favour. Whatever Spain says or does from now on does not matter.
And in any case, now all of the pressure falls on Rajoy. Those calling for a negotiated solution, yesterday the Economy Circle, can now start to put pressure on him. If there is no negotiated outcome, it is because he does not want one and those who believe that there does not have to be dialogue but rather submission on the part of the people of Catalonia, can now start to ask him what he plans to do to stop the referendum, because he will not be able to give any convincing answer.
Rajoy will have to face a great storm to try to explain what he is doing, and by contrast, the government and Parliament of Catalonia have a very clear path before them, perfectly agreed and set out. Without any further pressure than to fulfil the will of the voters and not be overwhelmed. But look at the way things have changed; those who previously asked how we would hold a referendum now ask how Rajoy plans to prevent it. Welcome to the final stage.