The year 2023 saw two great heroes, true survivors of politics: Carles Puigdemont and Pedro Sánchez. It is likely that his extraordinary resilience, which allowed Puigdemont to withstand seven years of exile with an entire country trying to destroy him, and enabled Sánchez to survive his reported shipwreck, was the key that culminated in an agreement that seemed impossible.
Only characters like them, petrified in the face of challenges, can overcome the overwhelming number of obstacles that separate them from understanding. Until January 23, Sánchez was the hunter and Puigdemont the subject of the hunt, a master piece who had been vilified, insulted, insulted and dehumanized for years in the Spanish media narrative, and whose image seemed impossible to emerge on Spanish soil. But the magic of politics has given us a wonderful dialectical breakthrough, and where there had been a “fujado,” we now have a “president,” and Waterloo, no longer a den of Catalan criminals, has become the bureaucratic center of Spanish politics. The political merit is indisputable, especially since these two leaders signed the agreement out of recognition of absolute mistrust, and the cards are open, without the hierarchy that is often hidden behind political agreements.
If Sanchez and Puigdemont were the 2023 champions, Figo was the anti-hero. The Galician, who aspired to lead Spain, ended up losing in the worst way: winning in vain. Perhaps the mistakes were not as typical as those made by his party, which was led from Genoa by the darkest figures on the Spanish right, which called on Aznar to surrender. But in reality, his crude agreements with the extreme right, which came to power in a spirit of revenge and destruction – whether in linguistic and cultural matters or in the field of civil rights – had a fatal impact. In this sense, the fact that these agreements were concluded just before the general elections was a miraculous blessing for Sánchez, who, regardless of his resistance, tends to be a very lucky politician.
From heroes to hero: forgiveness. It was the greatest event of 2023, and it will also be, most likely, in 2024, not only because of the demagoguery and triangulation that the right will use, but also because of the delay that the Socialist Workers' Party will attempt. At the moment, it is enabled in January for its processing, which will certainly be noisy, but from now on the difficulties of its application will be enormous. In other words, we are likely to get a pardon, but it is not clear when we will get one.
On the one hand, the People's Party will search for all parliamentary and legal traps to prolong the process indefinitely, with the invaluable assistance of ideological justice and the national press. Sanchez, on the other hand, will likely try to do what he does best than anyone else: tinker, play with words and buy time, which is his priority goal. In fact, it has already given a good example through Article 43 bis that it introduced in the Decree amending the Code of Civil Procedure, which allows an amnesty to be brought to the European Court of Justice with certain prejudicial questions, which would postpone its application indefinitely. It is clear that Sanchez will try to avoid Puigdemont's return as much as possible, but the fact is also that at Waterloo they are very vigilant, and it will not be easy for him to set traps accordingly. The balance between trying to cheat and forcing Junt to not break the deal is a very tenuous one. This is the seesaw that Sanchez will try to manipulate.
Either way, 2024 is the key year for the deal, and there is no certainty. In fact, it's uncharted territory because they're sailing in the same boat, but paddling in opposite directions. Will Sanchez lie a lot, will Puigdemont hold out, will the agreement be reached, and will the agreement be violated? They are the unknowns who will give a lot of life to the journalistic scoundrel. There is only one certain answer: Puigdemont will continue to make headlines, parliamentary debates and political statements. The big unknown is whether he will do it from home.
One final point: Will Felipe VI continue to make those angry faces every time he sees Pedro Sanchez, or will he learn to hide a little? Nothing, ask for the menu.
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