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You'd have to go back to the past, the final stage of Felipe González's premiership, between 93 and 96, to see the rot of the state's sewers rising to the surface like now. At that time, ministers were falling from office amidst corruption cases and, now, it's not exactly the same, but they still have to go, either for having lied or for inexplicable CVs. The PP also practised a certain kind of dirty warfare which wasn't the famous "Váyase, señor González!" (go away, Mr González), but the conjunction of the right-wing Madrid press around the so-called sindicato del crimen (crime sindicate), looking to end with the PM whatever the price.

Whilst Pedro Sánchez enjoys, perhaps, the only trip he'll be able to make to the United States and the United Nations as prime minister, two ministers have currently got their bags half-packed: justice minister, Dolores Delgado, and science, innovation and universities minister, Pedro Duque. The first is trying to hold on in an situation which is unsupportable both politically and ethically since her link with commissioner Villarejo was leaked, she denied it, further recordings were leaked and she's been left in a very bad position. The case of Duque is different, since it's about the purchase of a chalet in Xàbia, Alicante, through a holding company. The prime minister's comments when he was a candidate force Sánchez to fire his minister, but it's quite obvious that he cannot lose in so short a timeframe four members of his cabinet since that would break all Guinness records for a prime minister. And the photos of his first government taking office just over a hundred days ago would have 25% of the faces marked with Xs as lost.

It must be for all these reasons that Sánchez started talking in New York about early elections. And not for the reasons he gave, which are always hard to talk about for a prime minister even if he keeps tightening his belt. Sánchez appealed to the cliché and tried to divert the focus from where it really should be: "If the independence movement prioritises conflict, we'll go to elections".

Mr prime minister, call elections or don't. Do whatever seems best to you, since the decision is exclusively yours. But don't confuse it all too much because they won't buy it either in Spain or in Catalonia. In Spain because your opponents accuse you of a non-existent alliance with independence supporters. And in Catalonia because, beyond the smiles and a dialogue which has born no tangible political fruit so far, your policy has consisted solely of gaining time and you've avoided explaining what your plan is for the Catalan crisis. The real plan, not the one which makes headlines which lead nowhere and lacks any calendar. If you can and know how to, tackle the current rot, otherwise you'll have only one path left.