Carretero’s Master Move

Joan Carretero

Everyone was holding their breath after Carretero’s announcement last saturday of his resignation as president of Reagrupament, the independentist catalan association.

Many people tought it was not fair, after so many hopes, so much work that all ended in such a silly way, everyone was surprised at the apparent lack of sense it all made. All I thought is that it didn’t make sense, therefore I waited to see the events and refrained from posting on the subject.

Apparently, 4 members of the elected management were having discrepancies with the leader and founder Carretero. Carretero informed them on a management meeting that that unless these 4 members resigned he’d resign, and with him the rest of the management.

It seems the disobedient members were making the same mistakes traditional catalan parties make and wanted regional representatives to be elected in a primary round, therefore pushing to create power lobbys inside the organization that later on could potentially destabilize it when the time of entering the Parliament came. On the other hand, Carretero thought it was more appropriate that in order to avoid inner fights to let associates vote directly any regional candidate in just one round of elections.

Reagrupament’s original intentions are of creating a radically independentist party inside the catalan Parliament to unstabilize it and center the debate on the independence issue rather than now, when it is (falsely) centered on the left or right debate. This makes no sense since Catalonia has very limited power to deal effectively with any political issues and has no real independence of action.

The news of Carretero leaving made it to the headlines in all Catalan newspapers and the forums, blogs, tweets and comments were reflecting different reactions about the situation. Supporters were showing disappointment and disencouragement while the other parties were relieved declaring that Reagrupament was immature and that it’s disappearance was normal.

On sunday, Joan Laporta announced on an interview with Avui that he’s considering making the jump into politics once his term as president of FC Barcelona is over and negotiations are ongoing with Joan Carretero to create a joint independentist project.

Laporta’s intentions to jump into politics are causing a headache to the the members of the other Catalan parties since they know the potential the Laporta-Carretero combo have of stealing independentist votes from their options.

Yesterday, Carretero gave an radio interview and declared that he had not left Reagrupament but he had left the presidency since he had no time to waste with power struggles inside the association. Shortly after this the 4 disobedient members anonounced their resignation, mostly by the pressure of the rest of the associates who made it clear that they didn’t have enough support to continue leading the association without Carretero. A few hours later Carretero declared he’d take back his responsibility as president of Reagrupament.

In a few words, Carretero has made a master move, he’s swiped the danger of making the same mistakes traditional parties have committed, has emerged as the unquestioned leader of Reagrupament and at the same time has cleared the way for Joan Laporta to come and join Reagrupament without oposition from other sectors. At the same time grabbing the media attention after having been largely (and intentionally) ignored by it, since Catalan traditional media is largely linked to either unionist or autonomist power.

I refrained from posting anything on the subject until things had cleared up since it wasn’t clear what was going on and we were able to see past the trees. I had faith that Carretero knows what he is doing and even though his unorthodox ways may surprise some they have proven to be very effective so far.

The road is clear for Reagrupament to revolutionize the Catalan Parliament next fall.

4 thoughts to “Carretero’s Master Move”

  1. Great post!

    Reagrupament/Carretero are the last hope to honest catalan people.

    And yes, the movement left all of us breathless. But at the end it looks like evertything will go on in a stronger way.


  2. Unlike you, I am most disturbed by Mr. Carretero’s “Master Move”, which shows once again that he tends to leave organisations when things do not go his way.

    I would suggest reading Jaume Renyer’s explanation of how the episode came about ( in Catalan). Mr. Renyer is a respected lawyer and opposed Mr. Carretero’s flaunting of Reagrupament Independentista’s founding statutes established by due democratic process at the assembly of 3rd October.

    Mr. Carretero’s move may have been masterful if his aim was to make sure he could get Jan Laporta on board at any cost, emulating party political power play. But it is a very sad day for democratic principles in an organisation (not yet a “party”) that saw itself as standing, until this incident, for a “new” democracy in Catalan politics.

  3. Why is it that what is naturally accepted in any party in the world (to kick disobedient members out) is not allowed to Reagrupament? I don’t understand.

    In any case, I’m glad for once everyone is talking about Reagrupament, I think just for this Carretero should do this more often.

    I’m also happy everyone is criticising Reagrupament since it shows the perception of the threat it poses to established parties.

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