A night at the (bus) station

It is already a paradox that the Republican Left follows the electoral count from Barcelona's Estació del Nord, a bus station.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
12 May 2024 Sunday 04:24
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A night at the (bus) station

It is already a paradox that the Republican Left follows the electoral count from Barcelona's Estació del Nord, a bus station. The news of the day (or the second after the elections) has been the monumental collapse of the Renfe commuter lines, the transfer of which has been demanded from Barcelona for years.

Renfe itself has advised throughout the day (and this Monday) the use of alternative transport, that is, the private car or the bus. With these trains, that is, without them, who fights climate change.

Naturally, the Republicans had chosen this place weeks before, but the coincidence has its funny side. 58 accredited media outlets, with 168 professionals. International agencies, French radio, German television. The expectation is enormous.

Pere Aragonés enters the station at 7:49 p.m., within a cloud of cameras, photographers and journalists. He steps firmly, he does not speak.

The place was the venue for the ping-pong competition at the Barcelona 92 ​​Olympic Games, and that also has its joke or metaphor. Now the ping-pong of negotiations will come, an all-out battle of balls at the corner, topspin or slices, drop shots, spin, bounces in the corner.

The place is ideal for an election night. Spacious, with a natural division between press and party, with a hybrid area, where they distribute cheese, sausage and serrano ham sandwiches, and beers. With discreet rooms where the main leaders meet as the night progresses, as the ravine becomes deeper.

The party that could show management after three years in government loses 13 deputies. The day that the State's infrastructure once again shows its weakness, those who have demanded its management suffer a serious blow.

Long faces all night. Councilors and former councillors, deputies from Madrid and Barcelona: Laura Vilagrà, Chakir El Homrani, Teresa Jordà, Joan Ignasi Elena, Carles Campuzano, Anna Simó, Francesc-Marc Álvaro, Joan Josep Queralt, Gabriel Rufián, Roger Torrent, Manel Balcells...

Until late into the night, only Rufián speaks, intercepted by some cameras that tease him. He says that he has only come to support the party, the members of the Government, the potential deputies. The information filling from when the schools close until the count closes. Up to the ravine.

Two tired-looking kids with huge backpacks on their backs, with camping mats hanging from their luggage, approach the entrance. The security service redirects them to the buses, they insist on entering. English? Allons à Montpellier. NextDoor. The other entrance is ugly and functional.

The destinations of the station panels also have their jokes. There are buses to Cardedeu, Berga, Venice, Figueres, Madrid, Valencia or Cadaqués. But there are also places where you can watch the upcoming table tennis from afar: the one in Geneva leaves at 8:30 p.m. At 9pm is... kyiv. With a stop in L'viv. That is indeed a war. It's also late.