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An August Without Process

The rise of the Catalan independence movement led, among other secondary effects, that in recent years the political effervescence did not stop even in August. This summer, however, the month in which the majority of citizens rest from their work has also stopped almost all the activity of the Government and the opposition. Neither messages to warm up the autumn nor warnings against the rupture : the change in the Generalitat – the ‘president’ Pere Aragonès bets on dialogue – adds to the replacement of the PP by the PSOE in Moncloa, which has already had anti-inflammatory effects in the process, such as pardons. It had been a long time since something like this happened.

2011. The reform of the Constitution

The process was not yet an embryo in the summer of a decade ago. In 2010 the Constitutional Court had raised blisters in a sector of society with its ruling on the Statute, but a year later Artur Mas ruled placidly with budgets approved by the Catalan PP in July. With the economic crisis hitting hard and the 15-M living its first months of life, the political news of that August was the express reform of the Constitution agreed by socialists and popular to contain the public deficit.

2012. The beginning of everything

In 2012, a strategy was launched for the first time that the independence movement repeated during several August. Towards the end of that month, Mas and other leaders began to “heat up” the Diada that would be held a few days later . That year, the Government played the misunderstanding about whether it would be in the independence demonstration – at that time that was quite a novelty – and the ‘president’ insisted that he wanted “a fiscal pact” in the Basque way .

2013. First threat to break up

In August 2013 CiU was still a solid reality that governed Catalonia. But that summer, Unió began to show discomfort with its partners. Mas had promoted a sovereignist consultation for 2014 , and Unió was considering for the first time to present its own candidacy outside of Convergència. This is what happened in 2015, when it did not achieve representation either in Parliament or in Congress.

2014. Hurricane Pujol shakes the consultation

The summer of 2014 was marked in red as the prelude to the sovereignist consultation, but on July 25 something happened that has marked Catalan politics since then: Jordi Pujol confessed that he kept money of dubious origin hidden from the treasury abroad for years. The shock did not stop the preparations for the consultation, nor the friction between independentists: at that time, it was ERC who was pressing the convergent world so that the 9-N vote did not decaffeinate .

2015. Pre-campaign summer

The month of August 2015 was very political. An election had been called for September 27 in which the CDC and ERC were presented together, under the brand name Junts pel Sí, and which from sovereignty were presented as a plebiscite. “The vote of your life” was the grandiose electoral slogan of the candidacy headed by Raül Romeva but which once again had Mas as president, and which finally ended – thanks to the intervention of the CUP – with Carles Puigdemont in the Generalitat .

2016. The investiture of Rajoy

Mariano Rajoy had just won his second elections in half a year in the summer of 2016. The growth of the PP gave him a strong position to negotiate the investiture. That August, the then candidate for Prime Minister began by linking his re-election to the need to confront the “Catalan challenge” with guarantees . The pulse ended with Rajoy again in Moncloa , and with Pedro Sánchez temporarily defenestrated

2017. No calm before the storm

The weeks leading up to the October 1 referendum were hectic, including August. The Parliament resumed its activity on August 16 to prepare the vote and the express laws of rupture. The Constitutional Court made the first decisions to try to cut off the path to Puigdemont. Meanwhile, several jihadist attacks spread terror in Barcelona and Cambrils.

2018. The swan song of Ciudadanos

There was no thaw at the first meeting of the state-Generalitat bilateral commission in seven years. With the events of October 2017 still fresh, and with most of the pro-independence leaders in pretrial detention, the meeting, which took place on August 1, was not very productive. For the rest, the summer of 2018 was perhaps the best political moment for Ciudadanos and its then leader, Albert Rivera , who stood out in the polls. In August of that year, Rivera and Inés Arrimadas exploited the tension in the streets by withdrawing the yellow ties that proliferated throughout Catalonia .

2019. Strategic division

A few months after the sentence that condemned the already pardoned independence leaders, the summer of 2019 served to verify the increasingly irreconcilable differences in the leadership of the process . That August, Or
iol Junqueras criticized the confrontation with the state that Puigdemont advocated from Waterloo, and asked the then ‘president’, Quim Torra, not to rule out calling elections .

2020. Pandemic and Election Date

The fall in the intensity of the process was already evident last summer. In large part because the general attention was focused on a challenge this time yes global: the coronavirus pandemic. But the independence leaders were reluctant to completely abandon the front pages of the newspapers. In August 2020, the fight between Torra and Puigdemont for the date of the Catalan elections was news .

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