Without us, she would not be mayor of Barcelona today. These words, spoken at the consummation of the deed by Manuel Valls, who with his three votes had just installed Ada Colau in the city's highest political position for four more years, are the living picture of the unusual pact between Colau's Commons (BComú) and Ciudadanos (Cs). The gifted votes of Valls, for which Colau has repeatedly asked to be forgiven, since accepting them was the only way she could hang on to power, are already beginning to sound discordant. Just an hour later, Valls gave a second demonstration of what his attitude is to be in this new phase of his public life, when he refused to shake the hand of Quim Torra, instead pointing an accusatory finger at him during the traditional reception of the new city council by the Catalan president.
But neither Valls's actions, partly populist, partly of an enormous rudeness, nor the election of Colau, which had been foreseen for days, prevented the great protagonist of the day from being Quim Forn, the Catalan government minister deposed by article 155 and who has been in preventative jail for 590 days. Forn had five minutes to speak, more than enough time to call for dialogue, reiterate his convictions, publicly show his serenity, defend his political convictions and explain why his party, Together for Catalonia (JxCat), had voted for Ernest Maragall as mayor of Barcelona. Then he was led away by the Mossos police and taken back to the Brians 2 prison immediately after the council session and this Sunday will make the trip back to Madrid's Soto del Real jail. The great stature of Forn is only comparable to his humility and generosity. It's a pity there aren't more like him in politics.
The independence movement has lost Barcelona, the municipal elections have been marked by the resurgence of the PSC which is part of the municipal government in the ten most populated cities in Catalonia, and ERC (Republican Left) and JxCat have tripped each other up wherever they could in a spectacle that is not at all gratifying. Torra's appeals to the strategic unity of independence have gone unheard, something that is no longer a surprise.
But the composition of the municipal councils reveals something that can no longer be ignored: there will be only another pro-independence government in Catalonia after the next Catalan elections if it repeats its absolute majority. If not, any combination will be valid in order to replicate what has been done in Barcelona. Don't let anyone say they had been misled about this.