Wednesday, September 27

Questions about the ERE

November 2018. Ignacio Cosidó, at that time spokesman for the Popular Party in the Senate, before the imminent renewal of members of the General Council of the Judiciary, sends various WhatsApp messages to the popular senators in which he affirms that the pact with the socialist group is going to allow to have a “Exceptional President” and would make it possible “control the second room from behind” of the Supreme Court.

Since then, the PP has refused with exotic and inadmissible arguments in a democracy to renew the composition of the governing body of the judges, even going so far as to denounce in a beautiful exercise of cynicism that the Government intends control the judiciary. That second room is the one that has just, by a majority of 3 to 2, ratified the bulk of the sentence in the case of the ERE. These are the facts.

It seems opportune to me to contribute some considerations that are born from the very direct experience of everything that surrounded that unfortunate initiative since its inception; unfortunate, I clarify, due to its consequences for many of those who were politically responsible in those years, who have paid with discredit, dishonor, when not criminal and prison sentences, and the ordeal that they and their families experience.

I will say it bluntly: I was convinced then and I still am now that we have witnessed for years a political operation in which very diverse political, legal and media factors and interests were combined that have produced an absolutely unfair result in judicial terms and that does not correspond to the truth of the facts. Because I was there, I was a deputy, I participated in the coordination meetings with Chaves and Griñán, among others, and the story that has been installed is not true.

The truth is very different, because the situation of the closures of numerous companies in crisis, reminiscent of the 1980s, with the consequences of massive layoffs, loss of industrial fabric and situations of social tension led us to consider it necessary to give an effective response and promptly, to avoid harm to thousands of families and the deterioration of the social climate. The existing instruments to deal with such eventualities were the employment regulation files, whose management on numerous occasions revealed the difficulties of processing aid to companies in crisis with sufficient agility and efficiency.

Concerned, above all, about the situation of thousands of people who lost their jobs as a result of the employment regulation files, and about the disappearance of emblematic companies in each territorial area, the workers and their organizations, as well as citizens in general demanded quick solutions, frequently with massive demonstrations in the street.

When the possibility of articulating a more agile and rapid procedure through the Budget Law through financial transfers was seen, nobody, ever, spoke of problems of illegality, or of any warning of that nature, and never, not even the Intervention neither the Legal Office nor the Lawyers of Parliament objected to the aid procedure as illegal or irregular, limiting themselves in the case of the Intervention to speaking of inadequacy of the procedure; Quite the contrary, it was understood that the coverage of the Budget Law was more than sufficient to overcome the objections of a technical nature that might exist, and, of course, no one thought to favor any kind of arbitrariness or contribute to the adoption of any unfair resolution .

It is as if someone concluded that Montoro was criminally responsible as Minister of Finance for the massive existing tax fraud. Possibly, this certainty that what we were doing was what was necessary from the social point of view, and the fact that it was protected by the Budget Law, contributed to the fact that initially no one gave the complaints about this matter the importance that with the time they ended up charging for their consequences.

In my opinion, there are a series of questions to which there should be convincing and resounding answers, but there are not. Why were those responsible for the anti-corruption prosecution in Seville changed for no apparent legally explainable reason, going from not appreciating criminal offense in the alleged conspiracy to commit a crime at the levels of the Presidents and Councilors of the Board, to taking a very hard drift and indiscriminate acceptance of the theses on a collegial and organized decision of the entire Governing Council, appreciated by the investigating judge that until then the prosecution had rejected?

Why did the General Council of the Judiciary respond negatively to my complaint as President of Parliament for the actions of the investigating judge threatening to investigate the institution itself, protected by inviolability, in a patent act of ignorance or contempt – I don’t know what? it would be worse – towards the Statute of Autonomy which is an Organic Law? Why did the TSJA Prosecutor avoid responding to the letter that I sent him as President of Parliament, regarding the actions of the investigating judge? Could the investigation of this whole matter have been prevaricatory?

How do you explain that the only senior officials acquitted were precisely those who had been entrusted with the legal and economic-financial control of the procedure, despite never having warned of illegality or irregularity or reduction in public resources? How is it justified in legal terms that the reports of the General State Comptroller were adopted as expert evidence, which as everyone knows is a subordinate body of the Ministry of Finance, whose head then was a member of the same political party that championed the accusation? particular in the case?

What article of what law establishes the prohibition of using financial transfers for what was established in the Budget Laws of the Autonomous Community? What is the basis for the improper inference of considering that the use of financial transfers to pay the ERE was illegal, when neither the applicable law prohibits it, nor the reports of the General Intervention of the Board warned of illegality and, quite the contrary, so established the successive laws of the Andalusian Parliament? How can a procedure approved in an Act of Parliament be illegal? Can the Judiciary challenge an Act of a Parliament?

For what legal reason did the Intervention of the Board consider inadequate the use of financing transfers to the prosecution to speak of use irregularand later use illegal? What specific act or administrative resolution were dictated by Manuel Chaves, José Antonio Griñán and the other high officials, that can be classified as prevarication, given that all their preparatory actions – they were never administrative acts – were submitted to the approval of the Budget Law by the Parlament? They committed a crime and the deputies who approved the Budgets and even amended them – including some of the PP – for that purpose, right?

Does the Supreme Court want to suppose that we deputies were deceived for the wicked and Super smart government, that we were so stupid that we didn’t know what was happening right under our noses, or that we were all prevaricators? Wasn’t everyone asking – the opposition, the unions, the media – to help Santana Motor, Cárnicas Molina, Delphi, and so many other companies in crisis? What role did the media play in setting up the story of hundreds of millions of euros being defrauded, when the truth is that, except for a few intruders, all the money ended up in the hands and pockets of thousands of workers, many of which they continue to charge today?

Why does the mere discrepancy with the Intervention become illegal, a very frequent situation in the autonomous administrations, and that does not behave as such any crime? Questions whose sole approach points directly to the background of all the legal proceedings that took place on this matter, and which express the concern, disagreement and deep indignation of the person who writes these lines.

I will say about this matter, and in conclusion, that everything provoked in me very strong sensations and feelings of pain and indignation. Indignation, because an essential part of this political operation consisted of progressively generating a climate through the media that would entail environmental pressure on the jurisdictional bodies favorable to the interests of its promoters. I never understood and still do not understand how someone can be condemned on the grounds that “it is not possible that he did not know anything” about the matter in question; In the absence of authentic and compelling documentary, testimonial or expert evidence, the court, despite the fact that it has not been possible to prove the participation of a defendant in the supposedly criminal acts, resorts to expressions of such little legal solidity as “it is unimaginable…” , “was fully aware of the blatant and patent illegality of the acts…”, or acted “assuming the eventuality that the funds… were subject… to purposes other than the public purpose for which they were intended.”

But what joke is this, an entire Supreme Court bases its prison sentence on such evanescent and diffuse lucubrations? Is such a harsh sentence ratified based on contingencies? Has that same yardstick been applied in cases of corruption that affect the PP? Do the Gürtel judges consider that “it is not possible that Aznar did not know anything”? Do the magistrates think that “it is unimaginable” that Rajoy did not know anything about box B of the PP? Why does the Supreme not understand that the former mayor of Jerez of the PP necessarily “had to know and be responsible” for everything that happened under her mandate? Can Esperanza Aguirre not be criminally responsible for all the excesses of her close collaborators?

Questions in the air that encourage reflection and criticism, but leave a very obvious conclusion black on white. The law that governs the actions of the justice system in our country when dealing with corruption is always the same: the law of the funnel. Now what Cosidó said is understood.