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Spain: Catalonian election. Forti (University of Barcelona), “Catalan question not solved. Either back to politics or society will crumble”


“An epoch-marking success for Ciudadanos, which received 25% of votes. It is the first time a non pro-Catalan party wins the election in Catalonia. It is an important change”. Steven Forti, professor of contemporary history at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, comments on the election in Catalonia just after the event, with the separatist movements earning the highest number of seats, though the winner is still Ciudadanos, a unionist moderate Centre Right party. But, the expert immediately adds, “separatism still holds the majority of seats” (70 out of 135 in the regional parliament), “but not the majority of votes” (it stops at 47%). As it happened in the 2015 election: “The turnout was extremely high (82%) and society was deeply polarised. Nationalisms – according to Steven Forti – feed back each other”. And then he adds: “The People’s Party has all but vanished: it came out last, with a mere 4% of votes. A hard blow” for the People’s Party prime minister, Mariano Rajoy: “It is Ciudadanos that benefits from his uncompromising stance on separatism. There could be repercussions on the Spanish government”.
“Convergència never dies, it changes and survives. The fight for the hegemony within the separatist coalition is won by the former Convergència, with the ticket of Puigdemont”, the former president of Catalonia who is now on self-exile in Belgium. “What now? Will there be a separatist government?”, Forti asks himself. “Maybe, but there are a few issues that need to be solved first: a) Will CUP (which has lost 6 MPs) still support a separatist united government led by the former Convergència? b) Who will be president? If Puigdemont goes back to Spain, he will go straight to prison. So what? c) What programme would such government come up with? The unilateral way has no future: will separatists have a reality check? And what will the Spanish government do: will it keep compulsory administration over the region through to the bitter end?”. One further comment: “The elected separatists include 5 runaways in Belgium and 3 convicts. Will they be able to attend Parliament sessions, first and foremost the investiture? Without those 8 MPs, separatism will go under, in the Catalan House”. So one should expect “the magistracy to play a key role again”. Lastly: “The Catalan question will last much longer. Either one starts doing serious politics again and starts talking, or society will crumble and it will take generations to rebuild any consensus”.


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