Barcelona opened its International Cardiology Congress hours after the PSC pushed more than one politician closer to a heart attack. The replacement of mayor Joan Clos is a masterstroke, though not without risk for the Socialists. It is another important step in the PSC's attempt to turn the pageon Maragall's reign and to take control of the country's main institutions. Maragall, and his heir Clos, are victims of a new approach to politics in Catalonia. Parties have become more important than candidates. The charisma of Pujol and Maragall has been lost, and the November elections will be a duel between two candidates distinctly lacking in charisma: José Montilla and Artur Mas. The electoral pre-campaign is already in progress; it will be a harsh contest, almost as decisive as the parliamentary elections in 1980. And just like then, more important than the result of the votes will be how the post-election agreements are organised. If Montilla sees his path to the presidency frustrated, and the PSC loses power, the effects could be devastating. If Mas sees his path blocked by a repetition of the left-wing tripartite, he will risk his political career. It will be heart-stopping.
(Article de Saül Gordillo al setmanari Catalonia Today, 7 de setembre de 2006, pàgina 3.)