Read in Catalan

After reading and re-reading the document presented on Monday under the title "Progressivist Coalition - A New Accord for Spain" and which has to serve as a basis for the investiture of Pedro Sánchez as new Spanish PM at the beginning of January, the least that can be said is that one shouldn't be too hopeful of a solution to the conflict between Catalonia and Spain. The same comment applies to the State Solicitors' brief which was so anxiously awaited and which Oriol Junqueras' own lawyer, Andreu Van den Eynde, has criticised for not backing the annulment of the sentence in the pro-independence leaders' trial.

We have to believe that, shortly, we'll learn more details of the agreement between ERC and PSOE and that the seven lines - seven! - on Catalonia in the 49-page document released are only intended for the Spanish public's consumption. Because noting in the ninth point of the accord that there is a commitment to “address the Catalan political conflict, promoting the political path through dialogue, negotiation and agreement between the parties to allow the current situation to be overcome” is to say so little that it is hardly worth even including. The same goes for the promise to transfer competences still pending that were agreed in Catalonia's 2006 Statute of Autonomy.

With only these elements, the legislature will be very short even if it has the vast majority of nationalist and pro-independence votes in the Spanish Congress, with the exception of Junts per Catalunya. The PSOE knows it, Podemos knows it and ERC knows it. Starting the legislature by pointing out, as ERC spokesperson Marta Vilalta did on Monday night, that they are skeptical about the PSOE, although they want to seize the opportunity, is to play Russian roulette. Another matter is that the three parties accept that this is what they must do now and that a government of the right or the calling of a third general election would be worse.

Like that, it could even be understandable, but then, perhaps the best strategy would have been, at least for ERC, to have generated the fewest expectations possible. If only because of the possibility that, in the future, the secret commitments that have been made with the PSOE and Pedro Sánchez may not be fulfilled - bearing in mind that members of the party's national council will have to ratify the agreement on January 2nd with little more information than at present. And it could end up coming back at them like a boomerang.

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