El Economist teme lo peor.
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Lo dice con mucha prudencia. Pero su análisis es bastante razonable:
-La pareja Rajoy / Mas, Mas / Rajoy, pudiera negociar algo, antes de Navidad.
-Pero ambos parecen preferir el Duelo a garrotazos, matriz política y cultural de las Españas.
-Las elecciones de 2015, españolas y catalanas, catalanas y españolas, pueden complicar todos los escenarios, por razones que saltan a la vista.
-No es evidente que el PP revalide una mayoría absoluta. Una mayoría absoluta del PSOE no parece evidente. Una “gran coalición” PP / PSOE no está a la orden del día. Una coalición del PSOE con otras fuerzas políticas (¿CiU? ¿PNV? ¿Podemos?) abriría nuevos horizontes y nuevos duelos a garrotazos.
De ahí que el Economist y Standard & Poor’s (S&P) recuerden la evidencia: más empobrecimiento y angustia social, atizada por el desencanto, la incertidumbre y la corrupción:
The Catalan “vote” on November 9th will do little to resolve the future either of the region or of Spain.
LLEIDA. Manuel Molins remembers being called a “Catalan dog” after Spain’s civil war in the 1930s. But the 93-year-old had his revenge on November 9th, when he voted for the region’s independence in Lleida, one of Catalonia’s four provincial capitals. “Catalonia is important for Spain, but they treat us badly. If they didn’t, I might think differently,” he said. Mr Molins’ vote brought no consequences. He was one of 1.9m Catalans (out of 6.3m who were eligible) to vote for independence at a mock referendum called by the region’s president, Artur Mas. The turnout of 37% was hailed as a triumph by Mr Mas and a resounding failure by his opponents.
The vote ends the game of legal cat-and-mouse between Madrid and Barcelona in which the constitutional court has twice banned Mr Mas’s attempts to hold an official, if non-binding, vote. The polls show widespread support in Catalonia for a referendum on independence similar to the one that was held in Scotland on September 18th, even among many who are against secession. But Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, refuses to allow one.
Mr Mas relied on separatist volunteers to man the polling booths, though opponents still want to know why police did not prevent taxpayers’ money and public buildings being used. Mr Mas may be taken to court for disobeying the constitutional court. Madrid is wary of creating a separatist martyr, but Spain’s sluggish courts would take years to decide whether to fine him or ban him from public office.
Yet he was the obvious winner on November 9th. He honoured his promise to hold a vote and gained increased power over a separatist movement that he has struggled to control. He cocked a snook at Madrid, warming the hearts of many Catalans who see Mr Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP) government as aggressively centralising. It is impossible to know how many voters were taking aim at the PP, which usually wins only 13% of Catalan votes, and how many really wanted independence. Nor does anyone know how abstainers would vote in a real referendum. Opinion polls suggest a vote could go either way.
The immediate future is murky and quarrelsome. Mr Mas is calling for a formal referendum. Mr Rajoy will not give him one. So the Catalan president threatens to call a snap regional election instead, as a form of plebiscitary vote on independence. But that needs agreement with his rivals in the separatist camp and could break up his Convergence and Union (CiU) coalition, which has ruled Catalonia for 27 of the past 34 years.
Doing a deal with his main rival, the separatist Catalan Republican Left (ERC), will be tricky. ERC leads in the opinion polls and is well-placed to wrench power from CiU. Much depends on whether Mr Mas and the ERC’s leader, Oriol Junqueras, care more about an independence vote than about their parties. Negotiations are expected to revolve around Mr Mas’s preferred option of separatists running on a single list. A plebiscitary election would probably see the junior partner in CiU, the Catalan Democratic Union, split away. Mr Mas’s broad-based Catalan Democratic Convergence Party would also have to position itself clearly for independence.
Mr Rajoy’s government hopes the November 9th vote has released some steam from the separatist pressure cooker. It is waiting to see if Mr Mas and Mr Junqueras fall out. ERC has withdrawn support from Mr Mas’s minority government, so it will be hard to pass a budget for next year. In the rosiest of scenarios for Madrid, Mr Mas would forget about an early election and govern with the support of Catalonia’s moderate socialists, who propose a federalist reform of Spain’s constitution, for another year or two.
A darker scenario sees Mr Mas calling an election and losing resoundingly to ERC. Mr Junqueras threatens a unilateral declaration of independence. The consequences, for Catalonia and for Spain, are unforeseeable but potentially highly damaging. “Even an orderly break-up of the country would pose risks to the national economy; much more so a disorderly break-up,” says Fitch, a ratings agency.
A plebiscitary election would force Catalan voters to think hard about the pros and cons of rupture. Chief among the risks is that, with Madrid against, Catalonia might be forced out of the European Union. Dolors López, the PP boss in Lleida, points out that around 30% of local farmers’ income comes from Brussels handouts. Benefits from independence would include more tax revenues generated in wealthy Catalonia being spent there.
Many would like Mr Mas and Mr Rajoy to sit down and talk. The two leaders claim to be ready. But meaningful dialogue requires them to show more flexibility. With a general election expected at the end of 2015, both men could be out of office by next Christmas. Real dialogue may have to wait until after that.
Las negritas son mías.