The way in which the Pedro Sánchez government is playing with the pardon of the Catalan political prisoners, sentenced by Spain's Supreme Court to more than one hundred years in prison, is conduct so rancid that it could only be the work of a politician who has based his whole career on permanent non-compliance with all the agreements he has entered into. The fact that the pardon depends on the good grace of the government of the day does not entitle him to permanently manipulate this issue and put it in the middle of the political debate as bait when it interests him, only to withdraw it when he no longer needs it. In addition to his permanent trivialization, there is a degree of cruelty that should not be forgotten, especially because - as Podemos is reminding the PSOE in response to its failure to regulate housing rents - agreements are made to be complied with, which he is certainly not doing in the tug-of-war over the pardons. The pro-independence parties would do well to put up an amnesty law as a red-line demand and impose that on the legislature in Madrid - that would also be a way of interpreting the results of the February 14th elections. Among other reasons, because if Sánchez wants to take advantage of the weakness of the other Spanish parties to dissolve Parliament and call new elections, the ability to influence the legislature would have made sense.
If, during the Catalan election campaign, the Socialists worked hard to revive the issue of the pardons, as they had previously done during the intense negotiation of the Spanish government budget, it has not taken them even a week to pour water into the wine. The new agenda is to modify the sedition law and, in any case, they'll look at the pardon folder after the summer. This was not the plan when the Socialists were appealing for Catalan votes ten days ago, or when they spoke of reconciliation, or when they sent their usual spokespeople to warn voters to be very careful about the election result, as it could jeopardize the work done for the pardons to come to fruition. It was nothing more than bait which they cast out time and time again, just as they did with the dialogue table, which was limited to one single photo but one that gave the Socialists enough to survive for a year.
Accustomed to cheating continuously, their latest targets are their government partners in Podemos, who have suddenly learned that their emblematic policy to restrict housing rents has been tossed into the waste bin, according to minister José Luis Ábalos, who has opted for tax incentives in the future housing law. We'll see if Ábalos rectifies this or not, although the number three of the PSOE is not one to dive into a pool if there is no water, since Podemos is reminding him daily that there are no excuses to skip out of what was once one of the star policies of the coalition government agreement. The minister tries to wriggle out of the commitment by asserting that housing is a right, but also a market good.
And meanwhile, the PSOE and the PP, which apparently are not even talking to each other, are about to close an agreement for the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary, the body that appoints all Spanish judges. In this it seems that they do agree, and Sánchez even leaves Pablo Iglesias out of the loop. It must be because you don't bite the hand that feeds you: it's one thing to be in government and another to have access to real power. Letting all this happen, moreover, on the anniversary of the attempted coup of 23-F should serve as a reminder of how that day everything became much more solidly tied up than it seemed to some at the time. And the state was definitively shielded so that the changes were cosmetic from that moment on, and the map of the autonomous communities was set in stone.