The Catalan government, through the foreign ministry recently taken over by Alfred Bosch, has offered Catalonia's ports to receive the 49 people rescued in the Mediterranean more than two weeks ago and who have so far not been accepted by any European country. The situation is so worrying that pope Francis called on European leaders to let them disembark in his Epiphany speech. It's not the first time that Torra's government has made such an invitation. To give just one example, last August, 60 of the 141 migrants on the Aquarius ended up in Catalan ports after the Spanish government accepted an offer from the Catalan authorities, essential as the Catalan government doesn't have formal powers in this area.
Too often, the small debate over differences between the government and the opposition hides headlines like this one. Catalonia is a welcoming land: its society's vitality has been forged on a combination of people from all over the world. Beyond the demagoguery which is so easily exported, the coexistence in Catalonia of languages, cultures and ethnicities is exemplary. Not even the permanent hostility of wide swathes of Spanish society wanting to end this long-standing framework has achieved its objective. Catalonia is richer and more plural in identities and all its governments have contributed to preserving this climate. There will be other stories, but there's no other reality.
This initiative from the Catalan government clashes notably with Vox's proposal, which it calls for in its document to its future partners in the Andalusian government, PP and Cs, to expel 52,000 immigrants which it considers to be illegal. PP and Cs have played great offence with Vox's Francoist document with its nonnegotiable points. They're a series of atrocities, each as bad as the last. But that's what Vox feeds on. We're in the phase of theatre between the right-wing parties, provocative as they have been since the Andalusian people offered them the possibility of ousting PSOE's Susana Díaz. We'll see how long their little show lasts because we don't see anyone other than PP's candidate becoming president of Andalusia. If not now, in due course.
But clearly, praising the Catalan initiative must be uncomfortable and doesn't fit with any official narrative. And, on the other hand, Vox's idea is so easy...