In La Moncloa they argue that socialist governments always make difficult decisions that are better understood over time. And they believe that pardoning the leaders of the procés will be one of them because, beyond the inflammation caused by the political right and its media terminals, there will be a time when democracy will appreciate it if the measure causes the effects it seeks. .
That pardons will not by themselves be the solution to the problem is a fact as indubitable as that without them this country could not turn the traumatic page of what happened in 2017 or explore possible solutions to the problem.
The Government has the right and also the obligation to try for the sake of reunion, institutional normality and coexistence among Spaniards, even if the opposition cries out, the supposed civil society takes to the streets and the PSOE pays an electoral cost at the polls. Solutions never come from immobility or from the imposition of unilateral ruptures. Between the one and the other, surely there will be a formula that does not excite everyone, but that within the constitutional order is accepted by a majority that wants stability and long lights for politics.
And it is on the basis of these principles that the Government has supported its argument of the “public utility” to which the pardons respond, which should be remembered that they are an ex gratia and discretionary act without an administrative nature that does not question the validity or the effectiveness of the sentence issued in its day by the Supreme Court.
There will be thousands of Spaniards who legitimately doubt the Government’s decision and whether it will really serve to emotionally reconnect Catalonia with the rest of Spain. But there are many others who believe that it is worth trying for various reasons, among them, that beyond the atrocities that come out of the mouths of Casado, Ayuso and company, there is no violation of the legal system in Pedro Sánchez’s decision. Nor is there a trace of the “regime change” that Aznar glimpsed during Zapatero’s first term in 2006 and with which Casado is now again prodding in 2021. The right-wing’s plot creativity is quite limited, according to the reiteration of his proclamations .
Just as Zapatero did not deliver Navarra to ETA, nor did he dynamite the Constitution of 78, nor did he break Spain, neither have the procés leaders got away with it, as the right maintains, since the State deployed the judicial process with all its consequences. Those responsible for the DUI were arrested, tried, sentenced and have been in prison for no more and no less than 1,328 days. One after another. If it seems to someone that this time has been short, it is that it trivializes what the deprivation of liberty really means for any human being.
The pardons are only the first step on a long path to reestablish concord and coexistence among Catalans, normalize institutional but also affective relations and provide the political and economic stability that Catalonia needs and with it the rest of Spain. But the prison of the procés leaders was, in the opinion of the Sánchez Government, the main obstacle to start talking with the independence movement, in addition to a situation difficult to understand in the rest of Europe. “We have to listen to each other to meet again,” say the socialists, for whom dialogue is the only effective channel to resolve political problems, despite the seriousness of the events that occurred almost four years ago.
The measure of grace seeks in principle a double objective. On the one hand, break with the victimhood of the independence movement and on the other, with the disaffection of one half of the Catalans with Spain. The Government has, yes, taken the initiative with its so-called “proposal for the reunion” and, furthermore, it claims to have a project for a prosperous, plural, European Catalonia with more self-government. We do not know the details, but we do know that its limits will be within the Constitution and the legal system. Just missing! Does anyone really believe that a president, of whatever political sign he may be, can bypass the rule of law, change the regime on his own or give a coup de grace to legality, as Casado says?
The application of 155 was a demonstration of the strength of the rule of law and the granting of pardons is now a demonstration of the greatness of democracy. Sánchez says it, the unions, the businessmen, the bishops and even the most diverse international press applaud him. But the right is still in Babia, which is the same as being distracted or absent. When it comes to Spain, no matter how much they handle its symbols, they are neither there nor expected. Only for the construction of arguments built on the basis of lies and hyperbole such as those of humiliated Spain or the “unconstitutionality” of a measure that is in the Magna Carta and developed in an organic law.
And if they comply with the “ho tornarem a fer”? The answer lies in the conditionality of the pardons, in the Penal Code and in the disqualification penalties that have not been pardoned.
PS And having said all this, it would not hurt if the Prime Minister had clearly explained his decision in Parliament before, and not after, being approved by the Council of Ministers. Nor that he had submitted to the questions of journalists, which are ultimately those asked by many Spaniards, about a measure of great importance.