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In a crucial week for Felipe VI and Pedro Sánchez, it's going to be Catalonia that will return a verdict on the health of the Spanish monarchy and that plunges or not PSOE into a situation that was completely unforeseen when the acting prime minister frivolously decided to stake his party's political future on Russian roulette. In chronological order, the royal family will be the first to note the effects of the Supreme Court's verdicts sentencing the Catalan political prisoners to a hundred years. The police shielding-off of a wide section of Barcelona's Diagonal avenue to avoid incidents was insufficient to stop thousands of people gathering outside the Palau de Congressos and the Juan Carlos I hotel, loudly banging on pots and pans. The fact that the area was literally taken over by police is nothing other than an example of the reigning concern over any protest against the prizegiving ceremony for the Princess of Girona Foundation awards this Monday at 6pm.

The existing tension has led to confused reports throughout the day about the arrival of the king, the queen, the princess and the infanta, and where they will stay this time. The Albéniz palace, the Juan Carlos I hotel, at 8pm, at 10pm, a true puzzle tending to distract and discourage those gathered who this Monday, from early morning, will again protest in that area of the Diagonal. It's going to be the great stage for the election campaign this Monday and, depending on how the day goes, the topic of the televised debate between Spain's political leaders this Monday evening. Once again, the great paradox: Spanish politicians talking and talking about Catalonia whilst Catalan politicians are sidelined from the debate, starting with Esquerra Republicana, the winner in Catalonia of the last Spanish general election and who next Sunday could manage to get, according to some surveys, the same number or more delegates that Ciudadanos do in the whole of Spain.

Felipe VI has found himself trapped in the labyrinth of Catalan politics thanks to his mistakes and scorn for the majority of Catalan society and Pedro Sánchez isn't to be outdone. The PSOE leader seems to have fallen into a net he can't untangle himself from, since he was one of those who thought that the Supreme Court's verdicts would placate Catalan politics and turn over a new leaf in the independence movement. What's certain is that since they were announced, on the 14th of last month, the independence movement's response has compromised PSOE's expectations, and the unrest seen has only given electoral profit to the right. The greater the inflammation in the streets, the less the support for Sánchez, seen by part of the Spanish electorate as a bad copy of the PP when it comes to topics related to Spanish unity and order. Precisely the opposite of what the strategists in the Moncloa government palace had predicted.

It was a severe error by them both to think that the Supreme Court's verdicts were the end of the independence movement's claims. The political parties are today not the only ways to channel the existing social displeasure. That's the first lesson of the last four weeks.