With an excess of haste, because time is not yet up, the Catalan Socialists (PSC) have already begun to savour the taste of a hypothetical failure by the Republican Left (ERC) and Together for Catalonia (Junts) to reach agreement on the formation of a pro-independence Catalan government responding to the 52% of the vote who opted for independence-supporting options at the February 14th elections. The first secretary of the PSC, Miquel Iceta, has been outspoken in pointing out that Pedro Sánchez's politics have not failed, since if Mariano Rajoy nearly broke Spain, "the PSOE has broken the independence movement". We will see what the prognosis is, while the silence that ERC and Junts have imposed on themselves over the weekend leaves more open than ever the different options, including, of course, a pro-independence accord.
The PSC has put its cleverness on show, we will see in a few days whether rightly or wrongly, and pro-independence civil group the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) pulled out a red card this Sunday for ERC and Junts over their continuing disputes, and has demanded that they achieve a double goal: an agreement to consolidate a pro-independence executive that avoids elections and a government with a plan to move towards independence. The ANC was also crystal clear about its position if these two circumstances do not occur in the coming days: "The Assembly will never be by your side again." It remains to be seen whether the force of that famous 2014 call "President, put out the ballot boxes" by then-ANC president Carme Forcadell - today in Wad Ras prison serving an unjust 11-and-a-half-year sentence for sedition imposed by the Supreme Court in the independence leaders' trial - ends up having the same weight now when voiced by her replacement in the office, Elisenda Paluzie.
The PSC and the ANC are both trying to influence the current discord with obviously opposing strategies, but it is well known that bad weather offers good fishing. The Catalan Socialists see the disagreement between ERC and Junts as an opportunity to strengthen themselves as the largest party after the 14th February elections; and the ANC looks at the same thing and sees an enormous risk that the path which began in 2012 with that remarkable Catalan National Day demonstration called by the Assembly and Òmnium Cultural will be derailed for good. That is why these major civil society groups are, within their different approaches, both pushing hard for an agreement that keeps the movement alive. Last Wednesday it was the president of Òmnium, Jordi Cuixart, who took advantage of prison leave to warn that the cultural entity will not remain there either if it turns into a pointless struggle between the pro-independence parties.
With this being the situation as the weekend closes, and polls being published that bolster the PSC’s position, the final week for a deal opens. We'll see how it all pans out and whether the final hours take us into heart attack territory or whether those who created the snarl can find a way to untangle it.