The arrogance with which Pedro Sánchez has proposed the Spanish-French summit in Barcelona with the intention of showing the international community that the Catalan independence process should be regarded as finished, will end up turning against him. The president has misjudged his options, he has been too clever, he has misread the always-complex Catalan political map, and he has sent his ministers, starting with the minister for his own department, Félix Bolaños, to raise the temperature for the meeting on the 19th in the worst way possible: highlighting that the choice of Barcelona as the city chosen for the summit of Macron and Sánchez, together with their governments, has to do with the fact that the page has been turned on the years of the independence process. His message is almost a provocation for the independence movement: the time has come to seek what we have in common and make progress in our understanding.
In the end, it has been this swagger that has activated the sovereignist entities and the pro-independence parties to call a mobilization against the Sánchez-Macron summit. The presence in the call to protest of Òmnium Cultural, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and the Council of the Republic gives the demonstration an organizational muscle that could make it important. They have been joined by the Assembly of Municipalities for Independence (AMI), the Intersindical-CSC union and an increasingly large number of organizations of different political colours.
As for the pro-independence parties, [at the time of writing] when the respective executives had yet to meet, there are not yet any official positions. But it is taken for granted that both Together for Catalonia (Junts) and the Popular Unity Candidature (the CUP) will attend and summon their members and supporters. During the weekend, no pronouncement in this regard was heard from the leaders of the Republican Left (ERC), nor from the members of the ERC-led Catalan government, which gives an idea of the different points of view that exist in the party.
The narrative that Catalonia has returned to normal after the years of the independence process is still a delusion, since the tranquility is directly proportional to the repression that was unleashed in those years and still maintains hundreds of court proceedings open in all judicial instances: from the lowest court in Catalonia to the Provincial Audiences, the High Court of Justice of Catalonia, the National Audience and the Supreme Court, where the cases of the political prisoners will return to the table in order for their sentences to be reviewed after the elimination of the crime of sedition, the new offence of aggravated public disorder and the reduction of penalties for misuse of public funds.
It is with this recent legislative package that Pedro Sánchez intends to convey the idea that the Spanish Penal Code has been adapted to European democracies, forgetting the interpretive and punitive weight that the Supreme Court judges have in comparision to their colleagues from other countries. This normalization, and having cooled down the Catalan issue, constitute the loot that Sánchez wants to put on show to Macron. Or at least, wanted to, because the peace when the summit was called has now turned into an agitation that could end up disrupting his plans. As collateral damage, the Catalan budget will have to wait.