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We are not afraid! The unanimous cry from the public and the political class against the brutal jihadist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils on 17th August opened this Saturday, in Catalan, the front page of the newspaper El País. A real gesture on the part of the Spanish newspaper of reference... spoiled inside by the now infamous sketch by cartoonist Peridis. In the drawing, Catalan president Carles Puigdemont flies through the sky with a shout of “we're continuing with the road map [to independence]” whilst, at the edge of the cliff, a couple with their daughter dressed in black reply: “We're staying with the mourning daughter”. This author, like so, so many others, is a father of daughters, well, of a daughter. And sons. The Thursday of the tragedy, the murderous van passed very close to the shop where our daughter works. Right afterwards she called home home: "I'm fine. They say that a car has started to run over people on la Rambla from plaça Catalunya. There are lots of dead”. You must have to be so mean-spirited to draw and write something like that with 22 people dead -including the attackees (the 13 from the Rambla, the young man stabbed in Vilafranca and the woman in Cambrils) and some of the attackers (the five terrorists in Cambrils and two in Alcanar)-, 130 injured and a country (and half a world) shocked by the strike from terrorist irrationality. A shocked, but not frozen country. Shocked, but not overwhelmed by the events. Shocked, but brought together. Shocked, but not confused. Shocked, but upright, straight upright.

Is that what worries the Peridis of this world, who pays them and who applauds them? 

Is that what is annoying? That Catalonia, its people, its residents -the tourists, those who suffered the most in the cowardly terrorist attack- and the public officials, of the country and of Barcelona, have known how to manage the worst crisis caused by Islamic terrorism in Spain since 2004 with serenity, firmness, determination, informational transparency and policial effectiveness? That they have done it -and they are doing it- without having to depend on anybody and despite their shortage of resources? The shortage of their... nonexistent -and banned by the Constitutional Court- “structures of State”? That Catalonia acts like an adult society in the face of a terrible crisis? Like the independent state it might one day be?

Is it annoying that Catalonia acts like an adult society in the face of a terrible crisis? Like the independent state it might one day be?

Is that what is annoying? That Catalonia's president and Interior minister and highest operational chief of the Mossos (Catalan police) have told the public the truth at all times about what was happening and that they they have done so with the swiftness the situation calls for and, at the same time, exercised the extraordinary prudence required by a still-open investigation and a manhunt? And that this attitude, dare I say, this ethic, is precisely the opposite of that which guided the acts of José María Aznar and his government, which included Mariano Rajoy, the day of the 2004 massacre? Do they remember the people in front of PP's headquarters? “Who was it? Who was it?”, they shouted. And, by the way: did they possibly suspend the elections three days later despite the 192 dead and 2057 injured, Peridis? (Hint: they didn't)

Is that what is annoying? That Catalonia is once again a model for the world, as evidenced by the international press? The press that has almost managed to regret that the USA is not presided over by a Puigdemont instead of by a Trump regarding the respect for ethnic and/or religious diversity and the treatment of social and cultural complexity? That Catalan Foreign minister Romeva, despite the Constitutional Court, acts like a Foreign minister, receiving his foreign counterparts, in Barcelona to find out about their dead or injured compatriots?  

That the king and the queen of Spain and the president and vice president of its government land late and badly at the scene and looking like they'd got the wrong country? That the Spanish Interior minister, the same one that four days ago refused to summon the Security Board of Catalonia despite the terrorist alert level and to facilitate the access of the Mossos (Catalan police) to European coordination resources and counter-terrorism information appeared 45 hours after the killings? Is that what is annoying?

Is it annoying that the king and the queen of Spain and the president and vice president of its government land late and badly at the scene and looking like they'd got the wrong country?

Is that what is annoying? That whilst Rajoy's Government was sending the Civil Guard to interrogate members of Puigdemont's executive about the preparations for the independence referendum, at the end of July, the jihadist cell's explosives factory was working at full speed in Alcanar to prepare an even more brutal attack? Que Rajoy, in the end, had to appear almost 24 hours after the massacre on the Rambla next to Puigdemont? The same Puigdemont that Spanish justice, at the request of the PP government, could send to prison for "sedition"?

It's understandable that all this is annoying, because, as the sharpest pro-unionists in print have started to notice, 17th August will change many things and has already started to change them. It has ripped up many scripts, many stories being gestated about the independence process. Some key ones, like the image of a group of Mossos become a kind of Praetorian guard for the leaders of the independence movement in a Balkan landscape of violence and insecurity. After the massacre on the Rambla and the effective police response by the Catalan government, or rather, the Catalan-national-authority, it is clear, very clear, what priority number one is. However much the cavern and its political companions insist (and some apprentices of local wizards), this is and wants to be a well-ordered country, where the law and everybody's rights are respected, not a banana republic. From now, Rajoy and vice-president Soraya will have it quite at bit more difficult to convince the people of order here -especially the world of business- that the Catalan government is led by a group of madmen leading the country to disaster.

Is it annoying that Rajoy had to appear next to Puigdemont who could be sent to prison for "sedition"?

It's understandable that all this is annoying. And it matters because, as will be seen again in the demonstration called for next Saturday by Puigdemont and Barcelona's mayor Ada Colau for peace and coexistence, Catalonia is not afraid. It's not afraid of anything, Mariano.