The Catalan polls test the resistance of Sánchez's majority | Catalonia Elections 12 million

The armed forces roared enthusiastically this Friday at the entrance of Pedro Sánchez and Salvador Illa into the Vall D'Hebron pavilion in Barcelona, ​​​​embedded in a working-class neighborhood that has always been a talisman for the socialists. But among the leaders, in the front rows, including almost all the protagonists of the past and present history of the PSC, a mixture of illusion is observed. faced with the possibility of a historic outcome for his candidate and the cold sweat at the unexpected rise of Junts in the final stretch, which could seriously complicate not only governability in Catalonia, but also Sánchez's legislative power.

A very mature Junt with a very weakened ERC is a very delicate scenario for the government, several members admit, although they all insist that no one can overthrow Sánchez – a motion of censure is unfeasible – and the independentistas, who still cannot doing. They need the government as much as the executive needs them. “We are all much more intertwined than we think. The Catalans will not forgive anyone guilty of taking the PP and Vox with the permanent 155,” said a person trusted by Sánchez. One fact is enough: yesAccording to the research of the Center for Sociological Research (CIS), 55.7% of ERC voters and 57.3% of Junts voters want Sánchez to become president, compared to 1.4% and 2.9% of those who support the two parties that favor the popular one Sánchez's leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo.

The independents consulted, both from Junts and ERC, emphasize that Sánchez's legislative power is not at stake, because the decision to support it is strategic. But the price can change. Budget negotiations with the mature independents would put full tax collection in Catalonia on the table, Basque style, both sides claim.

In the government they believe that the Junts will ultimately not be as strong as the independentistas think, who even speak of a link with the PSC, but they are concerned that the people of Puigdemont will very clearly defeat the ERC because of the political message that the send voters. “It is not good news that Catalans are not choosing the most reasonable option,” admits a member of the government. Nevertheless, several of the consulted parties on both sides emphasize at the highest level: in all conversations, including those in Switzerland, it has become very clear that the negotiations, the dialogue tables and therefore the legislature continue. whatever happens in the Catalans.

At the ERC they do not fully understand how it is possible that Junts can recover like this after leaving the Catalan government. “The big question is why they see this clearly throughout Spain [Oriol] Junqueras spent four years in prison and Carles Puigdemont did not, and therefore he has borne the greatest personal costs. But in Catalonia, part of the independence movement does not see it that way and believes that the ERC is the traitor and the soft one.' recognizes a leader. The big question, also for the stability of the legislature, is what will happen after the elections in the Junts and the ERC. Will Puigdemont resign if he fails to govern as he promised? Will Pere Aragonés be held responsible for the possible fiasco?

While the socialists were living their dream night in Vall d'Hebron, with the possibility that Illa would get past forty seats and could even dream of a term of government if the victory would be very resounding, but also with fear of an unexpected mobilization of the independence movement those In Bellvitge (L'Hospitalet de Llobregat), another working-class neighborhood that is also very socialist and where the PP is trying to find its place, Feijóo and the PP candidate, Alejandro Fernández, also showed enthusiasm for regaining their space. “We go from ninth to fourth place, we are the first after the big three that have ruled, that is already a success,” they indicate in the PP. In the Genoa party they suffer from a cold sweat even worse than that of the Socialists faced with the possibility of Vox winning the game in a decisive country, without which it is almost impossible to govern, as demonstrated on June 23.

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“With a more emotional mood and less management like that of Catalonia, where the PP is not eligible to govern, it is logical that Vox is more competitive, but we will beat them without any problems,” they conclude in the PP. It will also be an important evening for Santiago Abascal, leader of Vox. A victory, even a minimal one, over the PP would refute the established feeling, especially among popular parties, that the far right has begun an unstoppable decline.

In fact, one of the most unforeseen situations of this campaign is the war that Feijóo entered into with Vox in the harshest speech against immigration, directly related to uncertainty. On the contrary, during the meeting in Vall D`Hebron, Sánchez received two very clear applause: one when he said: “I know what the price has to be paid, but of course it is worth it”, making it clear that his threat of resignation, and another when he pointed out that Spain is an “open, tolerant, supportive country, and immigrants help us grow, consolidate employment, provide public services and care for our elderly dependents.”

The PP, which hardly spoke about ETA and Bildu in the Basque campaign, in the Catalan campaign he barely achieved amnesty, in a surprising twist that shows Madrid's pot is very different from the rest of Spain. However, the popular parties are preparing a European campaign focused on the amnesty, which will emerge from the Senate next week, and they will return to the axis of the plebiscite for Sánchez. Meanwhile, the Socialists are delighted by this latest turn to the right by Feijóo in Catalonia, which contributes to the “concordist” laws rejected by the UN rapporteurs and which Sánchez wants to exploit to the maximum in the European countries. The PP will again try to organize a plebiscite on Sánchez, and the PSOE and Sumar will try to mobilize the left in the face of the rise of the far right and in some positions increasingly close to the right.

Yolanda Díaz, leader of Sumar, also did her best in closing the campaign in Barcelona to try to stop the fall that the polls predict for her allies in the House of Commons and thus avoid the feeling that has arisen after the Galician and Basque elections. in the sense that its space shows a clear electoral decline. Sumar is putting pressure on the PSOE to activate the key measures agreed in the coalition as quickly as possible and forcefully enter the legislature without waiting for the long electoral process to end with three elections in three months.

All national parties are focused on Catalonia. Each has its own risks and hopes. The one with the most at stake is clearly Sánchez, who needs to strengthen his legislative power. But no one is immune from the Catalan dizziness, which never leaves anyone indifferent. In 2021, it was a morale injection for Sánchez, who overcame the pandemic and saw Illa, the most visible face of the fight against Covid, triumph. On the contrary, for Pablo Casado the PP fiasco was the beginning of the end, which would come a year later. Catalonia decides more than ever on national government. It may not even become clear what consequences this will have on election night itself. But no one doubts that this Sunday, despite the fact that the sun and the heat in Catalonia invite people to go to the beach – the lack of electoral atmosphere experienced in Barcelona is very shocking – the Catalans who decide to vote, will do that. mark the future of the legislature and the resistance of the delicate, but currently stable majority with which Sánchez governs.

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