Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín, they're there now. The image of them, seated in seats 853 and 854 in the European Parliament, flourishing a poster calling for the release of Oriol Junqueras (the MEP-elect deprived of their immunity and freedom in Lledoners prison) is, without doubt, one of the photos of 2020 so far. The legal victory won by Puigdemont and Comín in the European courts over the constant violations of rights and the repression from the Spanish state. It's the triumph of persistence and stubbornness in the face of a state which resists changing its mindset and which continues to call the two MEPs fugitives and coup plotters, when they are neither. The European justice system has flipped the position of their Spanish colleagues like a pancake, and not even the crude manoeuvre of presenting an appeal for the loss of their immunity the same day the two MEPs were attending the plenary session in Strasbourg, to counterprogram the news' impact, has diverted attention in the slightest from the slap in the face it's been for the deep state. A hard blow for the Madrid establishment on the evening news: Pablo Iglesias taking office as a deputy prime minister with an enormously serious grimace from king Felipe VI, the former justice minister Dolores Delgado as the new attorney general and Puigdemont and Comín smiling in their seats in Strasbourg.
Time will pass before the situation between Catalonia and Spain normalises but, certainly, if there existed the least spark of audacity in the Moncloa government palace in Madrid it would be the ideal moment to take a step forwards and start profound dialogue, without restrictions, creating the conditions for a referendum. Because Puigdemont's seat could end up becoming the cornerstone which ends up reflecting one image of Spain or another internationally whilst the European Parliament acts as a great echo chamber for the Catalan demands. All this, we'll see what happens over the next few months whilst the MEPs of the Partido Popular, Ciudadanos and Vox despair with their new colleagues in the chamber. President Sassoli already had to scold one of the Vox guys this very Monday. We'll see what attitude PSOE takes, trapped between the dejudicialisation of politics preached by the converted Pedro Sánchez and the pressures that they join, when the time comes, the appeal for the MEPs to lose their immunity submitted by judge Pablo Llarena which will be heard within a few months.
The pieces all in place for this new period in Brussels and Madrid, the third to enter the action will be Barcelona, where in the coming days the Catalan board which is to set out the Catalan government's position for the meeting with Sánchez's Spanish executive will have to meet. From this summit between pro-independence parties and bodies should also come the position that president Quim Torra will take to his meeting with the Spanish prime minister. It will be the first chance to see if there's any water in the pool they're about to jump into or whether the negotiators will crash suicidally straight into the cement. And, in at most fifteen days, the meeting between the two governments that PSOE and Esquerra Republicana agreed on for Sánchez's investiture. It will also be the moment for the presentation of the Catalan budget by vice-president Pere Aragonès. However much some might be speculating otherwise, it doesn't seem, certainly, that a Catalan election is around the corner.