On Sunday, October 29, 2017, two days after the DUI in Parliament and the application of article 155, the Catalan Civil Society (SCC) once again conquered Barcelona with a demonstration in favor of the Constitution. Three weeks have passed since the first big constitutionalist march, which today is celebrated by another rally – in this case against amnesty – which at the same time marks a change in the political cycle of the community and, in particular, for the Party. the Socialists of Catalonia (PSC).
In this sense, if an image remains from the call on October 29, it is the ‘selfie’ taken by Miquel Iceta (PSC), Ines Arrimadas (Citizens) and Xavier García Albiol (PP). The photo symbolizes the recovered unity of the constitutionalist parties against the legal abuses committed by secessionism, a unity that gives continuity to the previous agreement of the Congress and the Senate between the major national parties to intervene in the Generalitat and restore legality to Catalonia.
The photo of the three leaders corrects the absence of the Catalan socialists from the historic previous demonstration of the 8th, which the party did not support thus, leaving its militants free to attend; Miquel Iceta was not there, but the secretary of the party’s organization at the time, Salvador Illa, was there, along with other deputies such as David Pérez.
Despite the confusion of the party about the first march, the ‘selfie’ of the rally on the 29th confirmed the return of the PSC to the centrality of the institution. A change in the direction of a party destroyed by the ‘procés’ and whose ambiguity in the past years has created an extraordinary flight of votes towards Ciudadanos. In the elections of December 2017, those of 155, Cs were the first force, yes, but the PSC was able to add a deputy.
Move the board
The downward trend is broken, the PSC is back, a return that will crystallize in the last election cycle: first force in the regional elections in 2021, first force in the local elections in 2023 – recovery of the mayor of Barcelona – and extraordinary result of the general election in July to allow Pedro Sánchez to seek a repeat in La Moncloa.
Six years after the dramatic autumn, constitutionalism returned to the streets of Barcelona, and on this occasion, with the PSC at home, which implicitly supported a demonstration called to precisely protest against PSOE concessions in the freedom movement, starting with the amnesty. If the events of 2017 allow the Catalan socialists to begin to move and begin to return, what happened after the July elections, and what is to come, move the board again partially ruined by the strategy of the PSC, which saw how the interests of the PSOE blurred its role and the pro-independence parties to see themselves rehabilitated when, paradoxically, their results are worse and they have less social support.
Without a possible answer, Salvador Illa’s complaint about the fact that the independence movement claims to be representative of the whole of Catalonia is destroyed when the PSOE itself gives the ERC and Junts – the fourth and fifth forces of the previous general elections – the ability to negotiate the “historic agreement” demanded by Carles Puigdemont. Going to Parliament, going to the role of Salvador Illa himself as the leader of the opposition.
In this context, the role of the PSC and its leader is bipolar. On the one hand, it is an active part of the process of rapprochement and rehabilitation of Puigdemont while Pedro Sánchez tries to underline the role of his former Minister of Health as a leading actor in the negotiations. On the other hand, this same process of Puigdemont’s rehabilitation and the independence movement blew up his opposition role in Parliament and forced him to continue to be, less than a year and a half before the regional elections, a stick for on a weak Republican Left in Catalonia (ERC), a formation of a dangerous parliamentary minority that has already approved the last Budgets and raised its hand to implement the next ones.
The main difference, and advantage, that Illa now has in relation to the PSC in the ‘procés’ stage is that in the face of the approach of secessionism there is no party like Ciudadanos that is eager to gather socialist voters who are angry to see if what are Junts. given oxygen and CKD.
In this scenario, socialism can only be sold that everything it does is for the normalization of political life in Catalonia, which certainly calls into question episodes like the harassment of entities like S’ha Finish!, or a hypothetical the return of Puigdemont to Catalunya.