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The threeway dialogue which Catalan president Quim Torra hoped to establish with king Felipe VI and Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez will not be possible. Felipe VI has ignored the petition the last three Catalan presidents (Torra, Puigdemont and Mas) made in a letter they sent to the Zarzuela palace this Wednesday, referring them to his role according to the Constitution. Also to article 64.1 of the same, based on which he justifies having communicated their request to the prime minister as he's the person who has to ratify all the monarch's acts. In other words, Felipe VI has responded that they're at the wrong counter, that it's the government that does politics, previously PP and now PSOE, and that he only speaks in speeches, the most extensive and recent of which being on 3rd October last year.

Meanwhile, president Torra hasn't confirmed whether or not he will attend the inauguration of the Mediterranean Games in Tarragona this Friday, where he would cross paths with both Rajoy and Sánchez. A decision which was relatively easy to take a week ago has become more complicated as the days go by and the Catalan government's room for manoeuvre has shrunk based on a lack of explanations and unforced errors which are quite difficult to understand. The first being that the government wasn't sure what its decision was on the matter and what point it hoped to reach. Far from all this, it's extended an invitation to the king, who hasn't even acknowledged it.

Yesterday we published a preview of an extensive interview with president Carles Puigdemont which refers very specifically to both Felipe VI's visit to Tarragona and the one he'll make next week to Girona. Puigdemont cannot be clearer: the king of 3rd October isn't welcome in Catalonia, he says, and he advises the monarch to not play deaf, since his attitude will determine the attitude and actions of the independence movement. He also recommends that he stop being a wall, not recognising the majority of the Catalan people, but that he be the representative of a European parliamentary monarchy. The king already set out months ago his political position on the Catalan question and doesn't appear ready to change the script even minimally. No other profile of the king is to be discerned, less still that suggested by the Constitution, according to which the head of state arbitrates and moderates.

The king of Spain isn't an umpire, he's a party. And he doesn't trick anyone. And only those who want to be tricked can feel tricked.