Read in Catalan

After a week of public disagreements between Junts per Catalunya and Esquerra Republicana which became official with the suspension of the investiture debate for Carles Puigdemont last Tuesday, everything suggests that this Sunday, after around seven hours of meetings in Brussels, they had agreed the basis for a new agreement between the two pro-independence parties. If the coming hours see nothing change, it can't be ruled out that the Parliament debate could be called again from Tuesday on. That's at least what the negotiators want, although the precedent of last week, with a public erosion of the two parties, forces us to maximise caution in this apparent final stretch.

Whilst the pro-independence side wants the agreement sealed, the two parties, chastened by recent events, are looking to shake off the pressure of the negotiations. Few public statements, vague communications from the two parties and an Instagram post from Puigdemont with a poem by Catalan poet Miquel Martí i Pol are the only things that have emerged. The two meetings in the coming hours of Esquerra's standing committee and JuntsxCat's parliamentary group in the Belgian capital will mark the outlines of the agreement and whether or not there is a real wish to finalise it. Anything meaning stretching it out much further would start to be tremendously uncomfortable in the ranks of the independence movement, as expressed in recent hours by both ANC (Catalan National Assembly) and Òmnium, two key bodies for patching up the differences between the two parties, despite having their leaders, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, in prison. The first, distanced from the organisation since having joined Puigdemont's electoral candidacy as the list's number two, but retaining a notable influence on it.

The fact that the pro-independence leadership in Brussels has coincided with the 100-day anniversary of the application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution should make it more evident how the state has, without any hesitation, occupied Catalonia's institutions to the point of altering the role of its government. In those 100 days it's become clear that behind the formal act of the Senate approving the article there was a deliberate intention from the Spanish state to go far beyond the liquidation of Catalan autonomy. We also know that, even if the Parliament hadn't proclaimed the Republic, the repression which has since been applied wouldn't have been substantially very different. There are people who don't want to see this and even argue the opposite, that there would have been weak 155. That is plainly and simply to be ignorant of how Madrid deals with a territorial conflict like the current one.

Hence the enormous importance of the unity of the independence movement before a period that will be neither short nor easy. But it will be literally impossible if it takes it on divided.