A few years ago a historian of foreign origin confessed why he had chosen to study Catalan nationalism instead of Basque when he arrived in Spain in the 1970s. After some tientos he assumed that, without being from the middle, in the Basque Country he would have it raw for the nationalists to explain their troubles to them during the first half of the 20th century, still recent. On the other hand, the Catalanist milieu opened up easily to him just by showing some notions of Catalan.
Exchanging Euskadi for Madrid, today the situation is similar. In Catalonia it is spoken. Even too much. The large amount of information obtained allowed Lola García (Badalona, 1967) to publish El naufragio in September 2018, just one year after the illegal referendum on 1-O. Journalistic chronicle of the company of the independentistas –the ones– focused largely on the period 2014-2017.
Five years later, on the other hand, a good handful of state actors still find it difficult to speak. From the effort to try to overcome this obstacle, El pared was born. With the same length as the previous one, the deputy director of La Vanguardia now covers fifteen years and goes back to the negotiation of the Statute of Autonomy in 2006 and to the figure of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to explain the successive responses of the governments of Mariano Rajoy and Pedro Sánchez and the judiciary –the others– to the pro-independence challenge. The story pivots on the personal and political profile of the three presidents to explain many of the decisions of their executives.
In the middle, the chronicle delves into the trajectories of some emblematic figures of the judicial process against the prosecuted separatists. The one by Manuel Marchena stands out. With the elements that the journalist serves as a magistrate of the Supreme Court, chatting on the beach or in her office writing the sentence with music by Bach, and a bit of literature, it is easy to imagine the president of the Second Criminal Chamber starring in a novel by Balzac's human comedy.
They are, although the author does not make it explicit in this way, the social substrata of the cast of characters that act in her two-faced work, which largely provides the key to the political dispute. Forty years after his recovery, the Generalitat and its subsidiary bodies have established a network of positions of trust and senior civil servants, the fruit, in many cases, of friendships and family ties. A magma that over the years has seen its space shrink (CDC-Junts) due to the entry of a parallel network of families eager to make a place for themselves (ERC).
The shipwreck was the chronicle of the struggle of these Catalan nationalists not to be replaced (or to be replaced) and to maintain and increase power with respect to Madrid – where it would be impossible for them to promote. Opposite they have the springs that The wall relates, a civil service and a judiciary of the State with a family pedigree that is not willing to see a substantial part of the GDP of its state decrease, nor that powers such as the General Council of the Judiciary be compartmentalized.
The merit of Lola García's saga, following the pattern of her Sunday chronicles, is that, if Gurb were to visit us again, an unbiased composition of the place could immediately be made about how Catalan and Spanish films have gone over the years. The journalist, however, has a third piece to write. In the latter, she denies that Angela Merkel or Donald Tusk interfered with her calls in the conflict in October 2017 and points out that Kosovo was tempted to recognize 1-O. So how did foreign diplomacy in Spain and the cabinets of the main international leaders experience our prodigious decade? You have to finish the job.