So many things have happened during this bizarre August that it feels like it was a million years ago when I wrote July’s highlights.
August started with what seemed like a big deal at the time, an airport security staff strike over which the Catalan Government had absolutely no control over and which the Spanish one didn’t seem too interested in solving.
Then the terror attack happened. There are still so many unanswered questions that I’d rather not go too much into detail. What seems to be confirmed is that the cell was originally trying to committ a mass attack outside the Sagrada Familia by exploding a truck full of gas bottles. But they mishandled the gas and caused a huge explosion in the house in Alcanar they were using to store the gas bottles. 3 of the terrorists died there, including the leader, an imam who already had a criminal record. The remaining members improvised the attack in Les Rambles that nevertheless caused many victims. Luckily the Catalan Police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, handled the situation admirably well, together with the Catalan Government.
It remains unanswered is why did it take 7 hours for Rajoy to arrive in Barcelona, why did it take 1 day for the Spanish Minister of interior to show up or 3 days for the Spanish Foreign Minister to get to Barcelona. Maybe one day we will know.
Maybe we will also know why had the Spanish Governement blocked the Mossos from becoming a member of the Europol, or why did they not inform of the intelligence available about the suspicious activities of the imam.
Lukcily during the 4 days following the attack the Catalan police captured or shot down the rest of the terrorists and both the Mossos and the Catalan Government received international praise for how they handled the situation, especially during a time when Spain was nowhere to be found. Catalonia had shown that it is ready to be independent.
Some suspect the terror attack could have been an excuse to overwhelm the Catalan Government and police and for Spain to prove their incompetence and use it as an excuse to raise the alarm level to 5 (the maximum) and deploy the Spanish army in Catalonia and influence the independence agenda. Who knows. It would not surprise me at all given that we are dealing with Spain. But I suspect unless Catalonia becomes independent we will never know the whole story.