The latest person to say it has been the spokesperson for the executive of the Spanish socialists (PSOE), Óscar Puente: the withdrawal of article 155 will depend on which government emerges from the elections to the Catalan Parliament on 21st December. That is: first I'll look at the results and see if I like them, if they allow me to continue with the policy of crushing Catalan autonomy, language and culture. I'll talk to the Popular Party (PP) and Citizens (Cs), and if we can govern, we'll cancel 155; and if not, we'll just say that the circumstances are not right to do so.
Up till now we had only heard this discourse in the mouths of the PP. It sounded so unreal that we didn't believe it. What a mistake! Now we know that when 155 was passed by the Spanish senate, not only was the Catalan government sacked, Catalan autonomy suppressed and new Catalan elections called, but also, depending on what Catalans were eventually to vote, one action or another would be implemented subsequently. It is not enough that one of the presidential candidates is in exile —Carles Puigdemont— and another in prison —Oriol Junqueras— with the obstacles that this places in the way of any election campaign. It is also necessary that the Catalans simply do not elect them. That they vote "for normal candidates".
Just because everything has been thought of does not mean that it is not irreversible. A tide of pro-independence votes would make any backroom agreement between PP, PSOE and Cs unviable. The Spanish state knows this, and for that reason has organized these elections that are so anomalous. The question is, will the independence movement understand this before December 21st or will it have to wait until it is licking its wounds the following day?