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Reports say that Pedro Sánchez took advantage of the traditional Christmas drinks offered by the Spanish prime minister to journalists in the Moncloa government palace to mock the division in the Catalan independence movement, giving as an example the fact that they didn't agree even when it came to a hunger strike since none of the four political prisoners from Esquerra Republicana (Oriol Junqueras, Carme Forcadell, Raül Romeva and Dolors Bassa) had followed in the footsteps of the four from Junts per Catalonia. It's apparently insufficient for them to have explained the personal reasons behind it. The important thing is the delight in derision that Sánchez seems to have been finding continuously since the Andalusian elections and the debacle he suffered, desperately trying to move on from the pro-independence votes he received for his investiture as prime minister and without which he wouldn't have reached the Moncloa.

It's a lot of days on hunger strike for such a frivolity on the part of the prime minister. Even if only for humanitarian reasons, a comment of this kind is completely out of place. He wouldn't make it, in any circumstances, about any other political prisoner on hunger strike in any country. Only in the current public climate of lynching the Catalan independence movement at any price is a phrase with so little empathy towards the prisoners and the two million members of the public who have voted for the pro-independence parties in different Catalan elections conceivable.

At almost the same time, The New York Times (and it wasn't the only international outlet) was reporting that the four prisoners on hunger strike had sent a letter to some forty European leaders to protest against their mistreatment by the Spanish courts. The news says that the prisoners accuse the Spanish justice system of improperly delaying their appeals to avoid them turning to Europe. The injust pretrial detention the nine Catalan political prisoners are suffering will force them to spend a second Christmas in prison. That all this should happen without their trial having been held is an atrocity and reveals what can be expected of the Supreme Court in the general case against the independence movement.

It remains noteworthy that Sánchez no sooner asks Torra for a meeting than he jokes about the prisoners on hunger strike. One could think that he has no interest in the meeting and even less in deescalating the conflict between Catalonia and Spain. Or perhaps, it might even be true.