The train wreck in Catalonia, which seems to be getting more complicated by the day, has been years in the making. Finding a solution is particularly difficult because the two sides speak different languages. And I’m not talking about Catalan and Castilian.
Madrid communicates using the police force and the laws in effect. Barcelona speaks using the legitimacy of the polls, the popular will, representation and symbols. President Carles Puigdemont is playing on ambiguity and staged a declaration of independence that never actually occurred. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sendt thousands of police to seize ballot boxes and close polling stations. These are two “languages” that can scarcely understand each other. Two parallel worlds.
With the power of the state in its corner, the Rajoy government is shoring up its position with repression and arrests: for instance, the arrests of the “two Jordis” (Sànchez and Cuixart), leaders of civic organizations supporting independence that several times since 2010 have managed to mobilize millions of people. In 2010, the People’s Party appealed to the Constitutional Court against the proposal for an Estatut d’Autonomia (Autonomous status) already approved by the Catalan Parliament, the Spanish Congress of Deputies and by a referendum in Catalonia. That was a wound that instead of healing has become worse with time, with the strong political and economic crisis that hit Spain in the meantime.