The worst is the arbitrariness

What will come after the meeting of the Spanish and the Catalan presidents?

"You're afraid. The worst thing is the arbitrariness … you're in their hands". This is how one of the political prisoners defined the distress of being in pre-trial custody, facing charges that involve a a great deal of creativity in the interpretation of the crime, and thus, an added uncertainty with regard to your life.

After many months, the Catalan prisoners are about to be transferred to prisons in Catalonia, and it will be the Catalan authorities —along with judges, of course— who will supervise the conditions of their internment.

The first conclusion is that the Catalan government will act within the confines of the law, and that building the future will continue to need greater consistency between the facts imposed by reality and the rhetoric of some politicians. It is necessary for the prisoners to be transferred closer to their families, but they should be freed. The reaction of the PP and Ciudadanos, accusing the PSOE of being a traitor, shows the slim margin that Pedro Sánchez will have in dealing with the Catalan crisis. It will be a step forward if one meeting is followed by another, and if President Torra is able to speak of self-determination.

But what will come after that? The old yellowed sheet with the list of Catalonia’s eternal claims will once again take center stage in political debate. Sánchez wants to lower the tension, open expectations for dialogue, but he doesn't have a proposal that will allow for a stable solution, and he will have to prove that he can afford one. That will be the moment to again take stock of the situation.

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