Read in Catalan

It has been brewing for several weeks now: an enormous social discontent that in all probability is translating into an enormous wave of political rejection of the ruling parties. An ideal breeding ground for Vox to exploit even further the huge void left by the traditional parties, which many citizens perceive as far removed from their problems. No one seems to remember, but the financial crisis of 2008-09 led to the hasty exit of Zapatero's PSOE from government, unable to react to the dissatisfaction that arose from widespread impoverishment affecting the welfare state and pensions. That tsunami found the PP waiting in the wings and Mariano Rajoy took over the government.

Now, it is not the PP that is expectant, basically because it is still licking its wounds after dispensing with its former party president, Pablo Casado, who tried to put Isabel Díaz Ayuso in a vice grip and failed. The Galician Alberto Núñez Feijóo is to become president of the PP in the coming weeks and it remains to be seen if he will be able to reduce the swollen Vox vote or on the contrary if Santiago Abascal's far-right party has now become an aspirant to win the next election in Spain. Strikes like that of the transport drivers end up becoming a direct transit tube to shift PSOE voters to the far right; the same goes for the energy price rises, the increase in the shopping basket and the closure of many companies due to their inability to cope with expenses that have not just risen a little, but by a fully staggering percentage.

A poll published this Sunday put the PSOE and Vox practically tied for first place and the PP far behind. It is true that it took place in the wake of the transport strike, but sometimes there are background currents that are not strictly circumstantial, but have arrived to stay, and Abascal's party has been able to ride these waves for far too long. This political situation and the economic crisis even open up hitherto unprecedented political scenarios such as a PSOE-PP coalition government in Spain, something that the Ibex 35 business sector has always wanted, but never achieved.

With this strong political undercurrent, in Catalonia the battle of the schools is also being played out, with the Catalan education minister, Josep González Cambray, having managed to equate himself with the Spanish transport minister, Raquel Sánchez, in terms of acting as a conduit for the irritation of the respective sectors. The last two of the six strike days called for this month of March are scheduled for this Tuesday and Wednesday. No progress has been made, with the calendar for the start of the next school year as a backdrop and everything suggests that more days of strike will come before the end of this term. The minister is up against the whole educational community and, with that, has a position of political weakness that, should it continue, will escalate the conflict towards president Aragonès.

At the root of the government's problems, there is one which is structural: the amendment of the law that must respond to the court ruling for a 25% Spanish language quota in Catalan classrooms - over which a lot of careful re-stitching will be necessary during the parliamentary process if they want to incorporate the linguistic entities that are in clear opposition without lose either one side or the other of the current political consensus. And there is the other, circumstantial, that of the Winter Olympics bid. This will be the week of the games, a true boil on the backside of the pro-independence parties, which say quietly that they really do want them, without having found a serious and convincing discourse in public. It must be because every time they imagine them they see nothing but Bourbons and Spanish flags.