Today marks the end of an odd political summer, perhaps the shortest in recent years, and one that heralds an unprecedented acceleration. While the Catalan government and parliament were playing cat and mouse with the date when the referendum bill might be tabled, in an attempt to keep a grip on the timing of the events, a brutal islamist attack descended on us and time froze.
Today that break seems to be over and the mercury is rising again in the corridors of power in Madrid and Barcelona. Mobile phones are still being put away before confidential meetings —because it is believed that they are being monitored— and many questions are asked. Next week will bring the clash that we have been going on about for years.
At first, once the referendum bill is passed and the independence vote is subsequently called, the State will rush to respond through the Spanish government and the Constitutional Court. This will raise many questions as to how events will pan out, and there are as many answers as there are interlocutors. We will need to see what situation the Speaker of the House, Carme Forcadell, is left in; what sort of protest is expected from the general public in response; and how much street support can be mustered. No doubt some news will be fabricated and corruption stories leaked.
There is a great deal of uncertainty and one of the key issues is when the bill of “legal transition and foundation of the Republic” will be passed. Some view it as an instrument that will guarantee that the referendum on independence is held and No voters will turn out in sufficient numbers to meet the quorum needed. Others dream that it will lead us to a unilateral declaration of independence.