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With the slogan "Spain for sure", the government of Pedro Sánchez has launched a new campaign - we have lost count of how many it has launched since 2012, when the Catalan independence process began, to strengthen the image of the state abroad. The "full democracy" that is espoused to the four winds from the Moncloa government palace and that is questioned even by someone like Pablo Iglesias, still the country's second deputy prime minister, needs some major economic injections to convince Europeans that Spain is not what it seems: when what it seems to be is a country which represses dissent, which imprisons people who exercise free speech, whose king emeritus has been a fugitive in the UAE since last August, whose Congress of Deputies has ten times rejected the holding of a commission of inquiry to investigate the monarchy's corruption, which eliminates awkward debates in its Parliament, and which has among its political representatives in the EU Josep Borrell, capable on his own of provoking a diplomatic conflict every time he speaks.

The Spanish foreign minister, Arancha González Laya, like those before her - Borrell himself, Alfonso María Dastis and José Manuel García-Margallo - is to invest millions of euros to try to erase from public opinion what the Spanish government has been building over the last ten years. But money is no longer enough to cover up the reality, and her insistence that Spain is a full democracy only highlights the imperfections of a system that is impossible to compare with its neighbouring countries. The campaign itself is an example of that: which countries in Spain's neighbourhood need to highlight time and time again that they are a full democracy? Which country in the European Union has citizens in exile and in prison for calling a referendum?

You have to go beyond the EU to find a similar situation of political repression and the Spanish government knows that. The recent vote in the European Parliament to lift the immunity of MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí put Spain in front of the mirror and, as usual, it did not like what it saw. The fact that only 57% of MEPs validated the withdrawal of immunity for their colleagues reflected that Spain has a major problem and that its image is seriously damaged. Never before has a request to lift immunity in the European Parliament received so few votes in favour, as it is usually nothing more than an administrative and very unpolitical procedure, but the reason for the reaction this time was the widespread conviction about the lack of impartiality in Spanish justice.

We have said this on other occasions. There will never be enough money to give Spanish reality a facelift abroad. It is a war they have lost. The Spanish government will have won - probably not for too long - the political battle, the one that is being waged between states, in which both sides try not to do any more harm than necessary. But there are other battles that the Catalan independence movement can win and must persevere: those that have to do with denouncing repression and insisting on an independence referendum. And these battles must be fought from the parties, the civil society groups and also from the Catalan government. Only when the pack is complete and without gaps has it been possible to move forward. This was also a 14th February message.