Read in Catalan

The result of the vote by the Together for Catalonia (Junts) party membership to abandon the pro-independence Catalan government and leave president Pere Aragonès with only the 33 votes of his own party, Catalan Republican Left (ERC), certifies the death of the independence process that started in 2012. It remains to be seen if in the future a new politico-civic movement like this one will arise again, something that, in the short term, must be definitively ruled out because the paths of ERC and Junts have already diverged over a long period of reproaches, setbacks and criticism. A state of affairs that from now on will only become more and more intense, turning toxic a relationship that will henceforth be impossible. At which table will they sit to advance the independence cause? When something is broken into a thousand pieces there is no way to put it back together for a long time and I have little doubt that the two main pro-independence parties have irresponsibly entered this dark tunnel.

The very significant participation by the Junts rank and file members in the decision on remaining in the Catalan government or leaving it - a 79.18% turnout - leaves little doubt as to the will expressed by the organization. Out of 6,465 members with the right to vote, approximately 5,459 members cast a ballot and of those, 2,875 (55.73%) opted to slam the door on continuing in Pere Aragonès's government. It is not, therefore, a narrow margin considering that the wish to continue in the executive was the desired option of 42.39%, that is, 2,187 militants. Having said that, the victory is not resounding either, however many messages are sent out on the internal situation, nor does the unity that is preached have any appearance of being real. The two souls of the party - one wanting to leave and the other seeking to stay - have emerged alive to continue defending two antagonistic party models: those closest to a movement, and those supporters of a political party which always has a will to govern. Neither has eliminated the other.

The departure from the Catalan executive and the ERC-Junts breakup will force the second to raise the decibel level several notches and expand the power of its demonstrations. In the first rehearsal for the new stage, Laura Borràs did not bite her tongue in a press conference: "Junts wins, Aragonès loses", before accusing him of having failed and of losing democratic legitimacy. An appetizer, without a doubt, of what is to come. It is clear that Junts will make a concerted push for early elections in Catalonia, highlighting the solitary position - something that is obvious - of the president and his parliamentary minority. Faced with this sure offensive, ERC will not have it easy at all: it has won the battle but it must be seen that it is able to win the war. If Junts has put a noose around its own neck in recent months that has ended up leading the party to leave the executive, ERC has shot itself in the foot while enjoying the continued problems - and many errors - of its political adversary. Thus, it is difficult to sum it up in a more graphic way: Junts loses and so does ERC.

The ones who obviously win, and win well, are Pedro Sánchez's PSOE and Salvador Illa's PSC - the Spanish Socialists and the party's Catalan branch. No one can seriously believe that after the breakup of the governing independence movement, the next step of the Socialists will not be to remove Aragonès from the Palau de la Generalitat. They will lend him a hand, of course, but not to give him the stability he needs - rather, to highlight his shortcomings and lack of parliamentary support. The PSC knows perfectly well that it has a possibility that seemed impossible after the electoral results of February 14th, 2021 when, despite winning the elections that did not help it to form a government. With the wind at its back, with a weak ERC having lost Junts and the CUP in just fifteen months, and with the party of Borràs, Turull and Puigdemont having little space to move in as it only the second-largest opposition party, the Catalan Socialists are unlikely to find a better opportunity to thump the table.

I am very much afraid that we are not entering a period of stability but, on the contrary, that instability will increase, and significantly. There are enough indications to believe that this is possible and that an uncontrolled political process has been set in motion that may end up taking away many of its main actors. Or at least, this is the game that will be played out.