The day after

Chats after 9-N (how they called the vote on independence of Catalonia here) almost all started with: “Thank god it´s over! Now, I hope we can start on other issues again.” To immediately afterwards get into a heated discussion why and who of the friends went to vote and what should be the possible consequences of the poll. Finally, some 2,3 millions went to ballot, 80% of them voting for complete independence. Could it be considered a success? The number corresponds to some 37% of eligible voters and around half of the people who usually take part in elections. So both blocs have reasons to consider the “participative process” a success and dicussions continue.

While I, accompanying a colleague, together with thousands of Catalans was waiting almost an hour in line to vote in crowded locations, I had time to develop some Catalan feelings. To vote against the wish of the central government and to feel the strength of people thinking the same about possible independence or at least more autonomy, creates symbols of collective memory and therefor can already be seen as a success for the independent movement. Process wont stop.

What happened since? Rajoy strongly rejected any implication of the vote and did not offer seriously any talks on the reformation of Spanish constitution. With general elections in sight next year, his strong pose gets the support of possible voters all over Spain who refuse more autonomy for Catalonia. The Spanish socialist party – stuck in the same conflict - tries with giving some mental support to the idea of reformation but refuses to take any parliament initiative to foster the process. Artur Mas, president of the Catalan community, tries to gain some political profit by declaring himself completely responsible for the vote and posing as victim of public prosecution. A posture not really loved by other parties in the coalition for independence. While talks are held whether elections in the autonomous community could be the next step, there is a serious hinder. The regional budget for 2015 should be dismissed till december. And with all the discussion on 9N, no plans are made, no coalitions formed. So question stays: Will there be space to talk about other topics again?

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