Politics also means gestures, especially in an information world in which news stories devours each other with extraordinary rapidity. The announcement by the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, that he will be travelling to Belgium this Friday to meet Carles Puigdemont, a visit that will take place a few days before the pardons are granted to the political prisoners and before he meets Pedro Sánchez in Madrid, is a recognition of those who are in exile, persecuted by the Spanish state, as well as a normalization of relations with president Carles Puigdemont.
With the role of the exile body, the Council for the Republic, still to be resolved, Aragonès and Puigdemont will be able to address, from their different points of view, the strategy to be followed both in terms of the relations with the Spanish government and the need to stand up for an amnesty law, as well as the demand for a referendum which is intended to be agreed with the state but may or may not leave open the path of unilateralism. The governing pact between the Republican Left (ERC) and Together for Catalonia (Junts) has forced them to make mutual concessions both in terms of the distribution of portfolios and in negotiations with the Sánchez government through the dialogue table for a period of two years, which are to conclude with the speaker moving a vote to test the Catalan Parliament's confidence in the government, according to the agreement between ERC and the CUP.
The fact that repression continues, and the Spanish state's tight grip over Catalonia prevents the Generalitat from making moves which distance it from Spanish justice, is easily observed every day. This Tuesday, for example, it was confirmed that president Puigdemont will remain unguarded by the Mossos d'Esquadra without the Catalan government pressing further on this, after the Spanish interior ministry refused to process it, alleging that he lives abroad. Moreover, it was learned on Monday that former Catalan interior minister Miquel Buch is facing a prosecutor's demand of six years in prison and 27 years of disqualification from office for authorizing Puigdemont to have a minimum of personal security at times when the hostility against him from sectors of Spanish public opinion was evident.
It does not cease to astonish how, time and time again, the Spanish state puts all the resources at its disposal in the service of intimidating the Catalan independence movement, either by demanding prison sentences or with stratospheric economic demands through the Court of Accounts. The case of former Catalan government minister Andreu Mas-Colell, whose house, pension and bank account may all be seized by the Court of Accounts, has landed with a shock in the United States, whose academic world has conveyed its strong support to the former minister. One example: the former adviser to the White House Economic Council has denounced the use of power with political motivations to punish public servants. It is corrosive, he stated.