There is no plan B

Spain does not contemplate an alternative plan for Catalonia, nor does it leave itself any room to manoeuvre

On the subject of Catalonia, Spain does not have a plan B and it doesn’t think one is needed. We could name the only plan that Spain has after Justice Marchena, the Supreme Court judge [that convicted the Catalan political prisoners]: punish the Catalans and teach them a lesson until they surrender. That’s why they don’t think that taking away the political prisoners’ prison benefits is newsworthy at all: they had taken it for granted. For this reason they regard Pablo Iglesias’ reaction —saying it was “bad news”— as high treason: it suggests that the problem could be managed in a different way. That’s why the Podemos leader is being accused of “working for a pluri-national Spanish Republic” —albeit a united one! Not only do they aim to preserve Spain’s unity at all costs, but they also wish to protect the status quo with no changes.

When PM Pedro Sánchez vowed to defuse the tension [between Catalonia and Spain], it was only a change in Marchena’s marketing plan, the only plan that there is. It is a plan that rules out any chance of a dialogue because they are not prepared to make any concessions whatsoever. Part of the problem, too, is the fact that every strategy put forward by Catalonia’s independence movement —every one of them, with subtle differences— is aimed at exploring and resorting to Spain’s plan B, which doesn’t exist.

And when they realise there is no plan B, they become genuinely perplexed. You see, they don’t have a viable plan B themselves, either, even though one is badly needed in their case.