A week after the municipal elections in Catalonia, the main pacts in our country's cities and in the institutions which require multiple agreements, like the deputations and county councils, are still to be reached, or at least made public. Among them all, none of them has, by far, the fascination Barcelona does thanks to what it means to govern the capital of Catalonia, what it means for the mayor to be, in the end, of one political stripe or another, and what these mean for the city's international image. But let's not be mistaken: behind the scenes, many more things are at stake. Most importantly, the chance to snatch the municipal seat away from Esquerra Republicana and Ernest Maragall through a pact which may be disgraceful and against nature but which is, in practice, possible.
What has happened for a portion of Maragall's options to have evaporated seven days after his victory? Basically, three things: the Moncloa Spanish government palace, with its powerful chief of staff, Iván Redondo, leading the charge has caused an influential paradigm shift among the Barcelona establishment which didn't want Colau for love nor money until four days ago; Ada Colau has turned her silence into an apparent "I do" to Manuel Valls and Ciudadanos; and, finally, Ernest Maragall lost precious hours after winning the election believing that a Colau-Valls-Iceta alternative was impossible.
This week, one of the businesspeople who has supported operation Valls from the very start, who last summer had no doubts he would be the new mayor and who would go off about Colau was joking about his sudden change, and with a slight shrug of the shoulders commented: as you see, supporting Colau. It was Tuesday, halfway through these elites changing team; they saw in Maragall the continuation of his brother Pasqual but now are not so sure about him. Pressure has done the rest.
Despite everything, the game in Barcelona isn't over for good. And it won't be until Colau shows her cards publicly. The public sappers laying the path for the Colau-Valls pact are already in place. At least, and few of them who are very influential. A large portion of the paper sold at kiosks and a wide spectrum of columnists, from Zarzalejos to Évole. This shouldn't be underestimated, since one gives it the blessing of the Spanish establishment and the other stabilises Colau's party, very divided organisationally between prioritising power and their principles.