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It's practically the first class in Spanish Law 101: a pro-independence individual or party will almost always lose when the decision is made by one of the higher courts of Spain - the Catalan High Court, the National Audience, the Supreme Court or the Constitutional Court. The second day's lecture: in a dispute between Spanish political parties, those on the right are much more likely to win the case than those on the left. And the third lesson: the extreme right always wins its legal battles and, if they are against the left, it does so without even getting off the bus*.

With these three lessons borne in mind, it should come as no surprise that the Madrid High Court has ruled in favour of the dissolution of the Madrid autonomous community's Assembly, by the region's president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, of the Popular Party (PP). The woman who is now the populist leader of the far right in Madrid will thus be able to call elections on the date she wants, May 4th, after dismantling an operation devised in the halls of the Spanish government by Pedro Sánchez and Inés Arrimadas to remove her from office. The former has lost his first major battle and the latter has definitively dug her own political grave. If there is anywhere that her party will not be missed, it is in Catalonia, although the process until its complete extinction is proceeding at an unknown rate.

Those who thought up the plan to get rid of Díaz Ayuso and install the Socialist Ángel Gabilondo in her place through a motion of no-confidence can now forget it. In addition, the manouevre was so shoddy that the PP will have four years of calm guaranteed, either with an absolute majority (difficult) in the Assembly of Madrid or in alliance with Vox (certain) that would gain prominence. Political mistakes: Pablo Casado, whose leadership began to be questioned after his Catalan election failure, could be rescued from ostracism by one of his distinguished adversaries, Díaz Ayuso.

We will also witness a transfer of leaders and supporters from Ciudadanos to the PP or Vox, which in Madrid are like two peas in a pod - as they are, indeed, in many corners of Spain. The right will surely recover, and as for what Pedro Sánchez does with the Spanish legislature, we will have to see.

And as for the pardons of the Catalan political prisoners, what of that? To the inexplicable slowness that has prevailed so far, in addition to the breach of the promise made by the Spanish government last autumn, there will be now be added, with the impudence frequently heard in Madrid, the following utterance: "Goodness gracious! With the Madrid elections approaching, you will understand that now is not the time." It's never the time.


*Translator's note: In 1959, Barça football coach Helenio Herrera was quoted in the sports press as claiming that his team would win a match "without even getting off the bus". The phrase has become legendary, although, in fact, Herrera denied ever saying it.