They are the same as always. But they're not even the shadow of what they were. A party that was hegemonic and that, subjected to the enormous tensions of the process designed by Jordi Pujol and launched by Artur Mas, has been disintegrated into a handful of factions in struggle for power.
Perhaps they would dream of traveling back in time and returning to that paradise in which CIU had the absolute majority, in which the plot of 3-5-10% worked at full speed hidden behind the honorable appearance of its leaders and in the that the succession to the throne of the Pujol dynasty was assured. Happy times for a powerful caste that considered the reins of Catalonia to be theirs by right.
Chronicle of the fall
But an unusual event happened. The power agreement that (according to some) protected the Pujol clan from the action of the law was broken when a Galician judge uncovered the plot of the ITV concessions, initialed by the heir to the crown, Oriol Pujol himself. They say that the father was furious and made his docile protégé, Artur (whose mission was none other than to warm the chair for the heir to Pujol) put into action the plan that King Jordi had contrived in reveries. In this regard, I highly recommend reading the latest book by Miguel Angel Revilla "Why don't we love each other?".
This Convergence of the absolute majorities called early elections in order to grow, raising the so-called "right to decide" (a deceptively friendly concept to start the path to secession by ethnolinguistic supremacy) and instead of growing, it lost twelve deputies and their coveted majority. He had to join with Esquerra Republicana, a party far from his best moment, to stay in power. Rather than admit his miscalculation, Mas doubled his bid, now decidedly for independence. The sum of both parties doubled the previous failure and the absolute majority kept moving away. Twelve fewer seats in the Parliament (Artur Mas in France was called "the minus twelve") and the need to make a pact with the anti-system extreme left, the CUP. All the independentistas joined, from far right to far left, but despite this forced union they were still not enough to stay in power, with an agonizing 47% of the hyperstimulated independence vote. But there was the Catalan application of the D'Hondt law, already discarded throughout Spain in favor of more democratic and representative systems, except in Catalonia, because it multiplied voting power in small municipalities in which secessionism had hegemony, while that the most populated cities, with a mainly constitutionalist tendency, saw their voting power reduced. As in apartheid Africa, it was the domain of the privileged minority over the silenced majority, and as so often, that of the regime over the dissent.
And the agony of challenges without a social majority came, of the breaking of laws without the support of Europe. The Venice committee didn't consider the "referendum" democratic, the Strasbourg court supported the actions of the Spanish government, the democratic governments refused to recognize the "republic of the eight seconds", none of the human rights NGOs recognized "political prisoners" (and the most relevant such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch expressly denied them such a condition). The streets of Barcelona were burning and fragmenting under the disturbances directed from a mobile APP that nobody claimed to know who was controlling despite the fact that the regime's captains applauded the legitimacy of the attacks committed by the ironically named "Tsunami Democratic".
The forces of nationalism were exhausting while the increasing taxes of Catalan citizens were constantly being translated into astronomical subsidies for certain media. The nationalist machinery, despite everything, didn't stop ...
The end of the adventure
But then the pandemic came. And people began to worry about things much more important than "the nation" and "the people", such as health, work, food... and the nationalist leaders, caught with the changed pace and five years of absence from management, they divided their efforts between trying to blame everything on Madrid and trying to hide the incidence of the Perpignan macrocontamination in those who died in Catalonia (easily verifiable by collecting public data, as the CatCovidTransparencia
research has done).
Now people want to rebuild their lives, go on vacation (whoever they can) and raise the country, regardless of whether they call it Spain, Catalonia or whatever they want, but what people don't want is to keep doing the game to the battles of its political leaders. To continue paying subsidizing people who keep raising their wages in the midst of the biggest economic and health crisis since the civil war. Leaders who secure millionaire pensions by law (in the case of Torra, even camouflaging it in the measures against the health emergency) and politicians who only seem to care for people to the extent that it serves as ammunition in their heated speeches.
The struggle for lost glory
And that's why the old Convergencia is now where it is. The new Partit Nacionalista de Catalunya (PNC) has just been founded, led by Marta Pascal, with a convergent pedigree from the cradle, eager to green the laurels of that pactism imitating the profitable plays of that PNV (whose name it replicates without dissimulation) that constantly threatens an independence (let's call it self-government) that it doesn't really want, because it's easier to scratch unsupportive budget lines from the rest of Spain, taking advantage of the eternal confrontation between political blocs in Madrid. The Basque nationalists have passed their hands over the faces of the convergents, and they can no longer hide it, only give a belated blow to the rudder trying to bear the shame of admitting with deeds that defeat that they'll never admit with words. A party that now renounces unilateralism, Torra and Puigdemont (and surely Mas), which returns independence to the status of utopia so as not to unfreeze it in years. A falsely moderate nationalism, which doesn't renounce that mythical "agreed referendum" and which persists in continuing to call its imprisoned predecessors "political prisoners", "exiles" or simply "retaliated", more than anything so that their followers, astonished, don't get angry at them. The new party now defines itself as "liberal center" (wants to fish in the fishing ground of Citizens) and with "loyalty between Catalonia and Spain" (a deceptively bilateral phrase for a loyalty that will last exactly how long it lasts).
Meanwhile, Puigdemont el Vivales (Albert Soler dixit), already off the hook on new projects and totally alone, announces a new party whose description could be summarized as: "It's Puigdemont's party". The funds are depleted. The moneymaker called "Consell para la República" didn't collect the ten million Euros that the fugitive demanded and was never used for anything. Her previous personalist party La Crida has just closed its premises with little noise. His PDeCAT membership is already ancient history. He needs votes to keep him in Brussels, because only his current immunity situation saves him from answering to justice, but people begin to blame him for continuously asking them for money, and the pockets of the Catalans are no longer what they were. Not even those of the nationalists.
And it doesn't end up here, with more dances of acronyms, alternatives and struggles for the political space. Esquerra Republicana formerly considered intolerant radicals, have capitalized on convergent hooliganism to become intolerant radicals disguised as responsible and moderate. Lliures steps up to claim a Catalan independence union. Ciudadanos seek to rearm so that the emerging forces do not rob him of what was its space. More power struggles in the midst of misery and chaos.
And at this point is for now the sad story of the convergents, much sadder, if possible, because it has dragged down the entire Catalan society and to a lesser extent the entire Spanish society. A wound that would take generations to heal, if the nationalists had the slightest intention of allowing it to heal, something they don't intend to do.
That's the real heritage of Jordi Pujol, and not that of Andorra. And that's the inheritance of convergence.