From Catalonia Without Catalonia, by Jaume V. Aroca

It’s not about the right or the left, it’s about Catalonia.” Gontes’ candidate, Miriam Nogueiras, repeated this idea over and over again at all the rallies.

Indeed, Catalonia has been at the center of the dispute over this election. Pedro Sanchez’s principled position would not have been the same if he had not promoted an amnesty in the now-ending legislature and amended the criminal code in an attempt to find a way out of the conflict promoted by the Catalan independence movement since 2012.

And the expectations of Núñez Fijo and Santiago Abascal would not have been what they were if they did not object to those decisions, thus aligning themselves with a current of public opinion – part of which is traditionally linked to the Socialist Party – that has not been able to understand the strategy of the head of government. (Suggested by political scientist Victor Lapuente in Country Sanchez failed to give a national meaning to those decisions to make them understandable.)

The independence movement in itself is less decisive than its use by those playing on the Spanish board

Catalonia is an extraordinarily effective corrosion detector in Spanish politics. And this is the only paradox: the cause of the independence movement is less decisive in itself than the use made by those who play across the entire width of the Spanish board. This election confirms this anomaly.

Archive photo of Mariam Nogueiras

Marta Perez/EFE

So yes, this is about Catalonia. But without Catalonia. Little was said about her until the last few days in what has been a drawn-out campaign for the Independents. Junts and ERC fear, As suggested by Anxo Lugilde in this paper, That the third bloc – the nationalists and the regionalists – is suffering from a setback in its representation in Congress and that the vote is focused on the left-right dilemma. Because the big fight is about the entire width of the board. With Catalonia in the background.

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Reuters distributed this photo of Núñez Feijóo's shoes at the Malaga Rally yesterday.  The People's Party candidate conducted two caucus meetings per day in this campaign

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