Hard times for the State

In two days, the Basque Country will vote.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
18 April 2024 Thursday 11:17
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Hard times for the State

In two days, the Basque Country will vote. Less than a month from now it will be Catalonia's turn. They are not two simply autonomous elections, as the law says. They are much more. They are, in this order, all of these: 1) A calculation of the health of the Spanish nation, the only one that accepts the Constitution, but disputed in both territories. 2) A test of the real power of a more demanding independence than ever. 3) A trap for the PSOE, whose post-electoral pacts are conditioned by Pedro Sánchez's need to maintain his majority. And 4) a challenge for the PP, the result of which will tell if it is in a position to assume the general government.

The latest events and poll messages do not herald a comfortable future for the State. To begin with, the sovereignist parties dominate the stage. They disagree with each other, but their national project gathers a clear majority, especially in the Basque Country, where EH Bildu and PNB can raze and leave the state hegemons to a minimum, a redundancy in the case of the PP. Nationalisms, far from losing their presence, gain representation in the institutions. They also receive invaluable help: mastery of the story. No party occupies more space in the media than EH Bildu and no leader appears in more photos and chronicles than Puigdemont. I never get tired of repeating that nationalism offers more country project and gets social support. Another day we will talk about Catalonia. Today it's Euskadi's turn for calendar reasons.

The last thing is that Pello Otxandiano refused to describe ETA as a terrorist, and in the rest of Spain it sounded like sacrilege, but in the Basque Country a debate was televised and the other candidates barely criticized him . "For electoral convenience", as it was published. Electoral convenience... This chronicler is left wondering if half a century of murders is understood as a merit that is rewarded at the polls. If so, and it seems so, the Central Government must improve the easy slogans that ministers repeat like parrots (Bildu is a coward) and create a message that will inspire a society that continues in the disinterest that José once detected Montilla in Catalonia. If so many people agree to hand over power to the ideological heirs of ETA, we are facing a resounding failure of the State and its administrators.

That is why Feijóo's demand on Sánchez to break the pacts with Bildu is debatable. From a state perspective, the responsibilities of the PSOE are two, rather more profound. The first, that if a majority of Basques wants Bildu, expelling them from the institutional framework would aggravate separatism. It is not about giving away power, as was done in Pamplona, ​​but about seducing and integrating, however difficult and slow it may be. The second is in the pacts: it is not the same to agree a government with Bildu as with the PNB. Once again, Pedro Sánchez is faced with the dilemma of doing what suits him to continue in Moncloa or doing what suits Spain, even if it puts his governorship at risk. The book that is now being claimed by a large part of society is called the country's Survival Manual.


Prevaricar If the lawfare is what they say (use of justice against an adversary outside of the strictly legal), I don't know why it is called that. In Catalan there is another term that is clearer and adjusted to the codes: prevarication.

Pendulum The old doctrine said: politics should not judge what the courts are investigating or judging. Now they are trying to get three prosecutors to testify in a parliamentary committee. It's not a mistake. It is the law of the pendulum. It would be an insolent mix of powers. In other words, an aberration.

Sumar Yolanda Díaz is not only part of the central government. She is its vice president. And the one that brings more social content to it. But the discrepancies with the PSOE (military spending, for example) are not an occasional episode. They are a very different conception of politics. I don't know how long it can last.

Ideas It's good that there are elections. And not only because of the democratic value: when the ballot boxes ring, the Government comes up with ideas. This year it's housing. Without the smell of ballot boxes, this problem cannot be seen from a palace. And in a palace, there is no doubt.

Pont The time in Spain is no longer measured by days or months. Time is the distance between bridge and bridge. We leave Semana Santa looking at the bridge of May. The exception, Andalusia: there the accounting is done between parties. Although they say "between fair and fair".