Barcelona (EFE) by the political space baptized in 1974 as Convergència has been dissected by the journalist Núria Orriols.
The 398 pages of «Convergència. Metamorphosis or extinction” (Angle Editorial) are the result of her research: “There is a structural factor, which is due to a generational change, and a conjunctural factor that favors that independence mutation in 2012,” says the journalist from the newspaper Ara in an interview with EFE.
To elaborate the anatomy of almost half a century of evolution of this space, Orriols has interviewed some sixty leaders from all eras, who provide a multitude of revealing details and hitherto unpublished secrets, to illustrate the convergent “metamorphosis”, which could be synthesized in five scenes:
1. NOVEMBER 11, 1999: PUJOL DIFFERES FROM HIS HEIRS
At the start of Pujol’s last mandate, young leaders of the party who will soon occupy leadership positions – Oriol Pujol, David Madí, Damià Calvet, Germà Gordó and Josep Rull – sign an article in Avui, in which they fear the strategy is exhausted pujolista of ‘fish in the cave’ (pájaro en mano) and defend a sovereignist leap forward.
Pujol meets them in a restaurant and instructs them: “Those of us who have rebuilt the country know that, with this in Spain, we have to set a limit.” It becomes evident, Orriols explained to EFE, the “generational clash” between Pujol and an increasingly influential group -among them, one of his sons- who, with the turn of the millennium, will print one more march to the claim sovereignist.
2. NOVEMBER 20, 2007: MAS EMBRACES THE “RIGHT TO DECIDE”
Artur Mas, the dolphin chosen by Pujol, intends to lead a “refoundation of Catalanism” from the opposition and climbs the lectern of the Palacio de Congresos de Catalunya to hoist the flag of the “right to decide”, a euphemistic formula to refer to self-determination, that in CDC they still claim with small mouths.
After the Constitutional Court’s cuts to the new Statute, in 2010, Mas will begin to shake off his complexes and will defend the sovereign path with less and less ambiguity.
3. MARCH 25, 2012: “OWN STATE” AND JUG OF COLD WATER
At its XVI Congress in Reus (Tarragona), the CDC crossed the Rubicon and for the first time incorporated into its presentations the commitment to endow Catalonia with its “own State”, which would allow it to stay afloat with a new claim that he sought to remove the debate on budget cuts from the public agenda.
At the same time, Mas placed Oriol Pujol as the new secretary general -and, therefore, in the front row of the succession race-, who had only one day to savor the appointment: he appeared in the summary of a case of influence peddling for the concession of ITV services, one more of the causes of corruption that were going to weigh down the Pujol family and, by extension, Convergència.
4. SUMMER 2015: PLANS TO REINVENT THE PARTY
The first time that Mas verbalized among his collaborators the idea of lowering the blind of a CDC peppered with corruption and creating a new party, according to Orriols, was at a dinner in Sant Feliu de Guíxols (Girona). The process culminated a year later in a chaotic founding congress, in which the delegates rebelled against the names proposed by the leadership and agreed -to the chagrin of Mas and Puigdemont- to call it the Catalan Democratic Party.
“Although corruption was not a determining factor for the CDC’s independence mutation, it was a necessary element to decide its dissolution,” explains the journalist.
5. SEPTEMBER 27, 2022: THE “SLAMMING DOOR” OF TURULL
The councilors of Junts in favor of continuing in the Government chaired by Pere Aragonès dine at the 7 Portes restaurant together with the general secretary of JxCat, Jordi Turull. The atmosphere is dire: Junts has just made a surprise threat to the Catalan president to demand that he submit to a matter of confidence, and the government coalition hangs by an alarmingly thin thread, on the verge of breaking.
The banquet in the private room of 7 Portes turns into a cathartic session of lamentations -with tears included- from some ministers who do not understand how Turull -supporter and reference of some of them in the party- has been able to hide this move from them, which leaves JxCat one step away from breaking the Government, as Puigdemont has discreetly defended for some time. Turull leaves the private room, slamming the door and without saying goodbye, according to Orriols.
We have reached the last stage of the «metamorphosis»: CDC, that political instrument conceived to accumulate institutional power and manage it, has definitively mutated, to the point of renouncing to govern from the Generalitat. Does that mean that the convergent gene has died? Orriols qualifies: JxCat is not CDC, but the majority of convergents are active in JxCat, and the 42% who voted in favor of not leaving the Government are already maneuvering to rectify the course.