It was the month of March 1998 when I laid the backpack in my native Catalonia to go to Madrid. Jordi Pujol was still at the head of the Generalitat . A Jordi Pujol still formidably respected, on whose judicial horizon only consisted the distant storm of a court martial under Franco, the cloud that would never fully discharge from Banca Catalana – what the then honorable molt described as “unworthy of the move.
socialist government “… – and some suspicion of massive family corruption that would still take years to substantiate. For the moment, Pujol was the prop on which José María Aznar leaned to govern at the head of a self-proclaimed reformist center-right.
Journalist and deputy in the Parliament of Catalonia.
Only five years later, Aznar had an absolute majority that was increasingly strident and less central, while the heir of Pujol at the head of CiU, Artur Mas, found himself thrown out of the Generalitat – along with a legion of public offices that even worst nightmares ever imagined fasts of institutional power, and they vowed to do whatever it took to get revenge … – giving way to the first Catalan tripartite, chaired by Pasqual Maragall.
Together they launched an explosive reform of the Statute that would end at the doors of the Constitutional Court and that, far from helping Catalan society to enter the 21st century on the right foot, has pushed it back to levels of political primitivism, fracture social and economic decline no longer preconstitutional or civil war, but almost pre-Roman.
Given that space and even time (between now and May 4) are pressing, we better get to the point: the center is to politics what salt to the earth. Something that seems not necessary, nor has any merit, when things are going well.
When belligerent and efficient moderation, putting the general interest before individual adrenaline, ruling with all the heart, but with the head, stops falling under its own weight, all disaster is possible. And it is possible very fast.
Who would have imagined that in just twenty years Barcelona could go from the Olympic dream to the nightmare of the procés, with the Parliament turned into a purge room and with a fugitive from justice blocking governance from Waterloo?
Does anyone want to risk that Madrid, the success of Madrid, the freedom of Madrid, the illusion of Madrid, unravel at the same speed as Catalonia all the way since the 1930s? It can not be? Forget that Ciudadanos exists, and resists, as so many paying guru advises them. Let yourself be dragged into the dark side of politics and force. Let the hyperventilated on each side do without counterweights, without a center … and tell me.