Read in Catalan

It is very difficult to know exactly what is behind the off-the-record comment made on Saturday in Galicia by the president of the People's Party (PP), Alberto Núñez Feijóo, from which it was reported, in most media, that the conservative leader was open to the granting of a pardon, with conditions, to the Catalan president-in-exile, Carles Puigdemont. The conditions would supposedly be that he be accountable to justice, that he fulfill his sentence, he ask for a pardon and explicitly renounce a referendum and the independence of Catalonia via a unilateral route.

At any other time, Feijóo's words would perhaps not have had the media impact that these have produced, but the proximity to the elections in Galicia, which will take place on Sunday, February 18th, and the close result predicted by the polls - an absolute majority for the PP, but with a slight chance of evaporating - has given fuel to a statement that, when read properly, no matter how much the left wants to exaggerate it, doesn't really lead anywhere. Above all, because the granting of pardons - the government of Pedro Sánchez administered this measure of clemency to the Catalan political prisoners in June 2021 - is out of the news focus at a time when what is being talked about is the amnesty and the profound discrepancies between the Socialists (PSOE) and Together for Catalonia (Junts).

But near enough is good enough. Among other reasons because, although there is no negotiation between the PP and Junts, there is a communications channel that is deployed when it it has had to be. For example, last week to convey to Feijóo that the attitude of the PP in urging the European Parliament to investigate the links between Russia and Carles Puigdemont was unacceptable. Perhaps for this reason, Feijóo, in this meeting with journalists and in other statements, pointed out that it was very difficult for the president in exile to be convicted of terrorism in the Tsunami case, although it must be possible to investigate.

Feijóo's words, when read properly, no matter how much the left wants to exaggerate them, don't really lead anywhere

Since mid-August when Puigdemont and the PP's emissary, MEP Esteban González Pons, allegedly met in Brussels, probably at the European Parliament, with explicit interest from the latter in knowing the conditions for a hypothetical investiture of Feijóo, the two parties have exchanged messages of political positioning. Discreetly and not continuously. Sufficient for the PP to know that the version that the Spanish government Moncloa was selling - of an amnesty law agreement at a cheap price, since Puigdemont had run out of room, is far from the truth.

And that is a bubble that has been inflated to the same volume as another one which went up a week ago, when the lawyer Gonzalo Boye was positioned as "the brain behind Puigdemont" - in the front-page headline of ABC on Sunday, February 4th. That the objective of trying to separate Boye from Puigdemont is very broad, due to the key legal position he holds, does not mean that there has been no movement, since the independence movement does not have a single position on the amnesty law. And Junts is not a party of protected political positions.