The Estatut reform is entering the last stages at the Constitutional Commission. The approval of the text at the meeting has left PP and ERC out of the agreement. Their reasonsfor refusing are diametrically opposed. The PP deems the new Estatut dangerous for the unity of Spain, while the ERC complains that the agreement reached by Catalan parliament last year, which was more ambitious in nationalistic terms for Catalonia, has been spoiled. There is a general mood of social uncertainty in a period that should be marked by collective hopes. This has coincided with two offensives against the Estatut reform. The PP held a convention last week, halfway through Zapatero's term of office, to relaunch their candidate, Mariano Rajoy. He and his acolytes have placed Catalonia andt he Basque country in the firing line in order to overturn the government's reforms. Meanwhile, an embryonic political party, Ciutadans de Catalunya, which is attempting to eject Catalan nationalism from the publics potlight, held a meeting in Barcelona. An operation dressed in constitutionalism, reminiscent of the delicate Basque situation.
(Article de Saül Gordillo al setmanari Catalonia Today, 9 de març de 2006, pàgina 3.)