Read in Catalan

With the call for the first meeting of the Board of the Catalan Parliament by its president, Carme Forcadell, set for next Wednesday 16th August, the most intense period of Catalan political life will begin, and which will run, in its current format, until 1st October. Forcadell, on whom many eyes fall, since the laws by which the referendum and other new regulations need to pass through the Chamber, has moved the first piece.

And, by moving it, she has revealed the first information of the session: although the Referendum Law was entered at the end of July in the Parliament registry, proposed jointly by Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes) and the CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy), it will not be considered formally on 16th August, as it has not been added to the agenda of the meeting. With this action, more tactical than anything else, the Parliament and the Catalan government seek to adjust to the maximum the three procedures that must inexorably occur: the processing of the proposed law by the Board, approval by Parliament and signing of the decree calling for the referendum of 1st October by president Puigdemont and, most likely, by all members of the government.

If we go to the last referendum held in Catalonia, that of the fateful Statute of Autonomy of 2006, the then president of the Catalan government, Pasqual Maragall, convened it for 18th June 2006, and the corresponding decree was signed a month before, on 18th May. An identical calendar could lead president Carles Puigdemont signing the decree on 31st August calling for the referendum on 1st October, considering the month of September has 30 days. Either way, the machinery has restarted, at a slow pace for now, but it will start to pick up speed towards what must be the battle of all battles: the referendum on 1st October.