“They are paying just for sinners.” It is the reading that Pedro Sánchez has made of the ratification of the convictions of former Andalusian presidents Manuel Chaves and José Antonio Griñán for the ERE case. The President of the Government has emphasized that the former Socialist leaders have already settled their political responsibilities by resigning “more than five years ago” and above all that they have not been accused of enriching themselves personally or of having irregularly financed the PSOE. What he has not wanted is to pronounce on the possible pardons that those affected may request, especially Griñán, who is sentenced to six years in prison. His defense has already announced that he will appeal the Supreme Court ruling to the Constitutional Court and ask to suspend the execution of his sentence to avoid going to jail.
The Supreme Court confirms the main sentences for the ERE and Griñán will go to jail
“We respect, as always, judicial decisions”, Sánchez began in response to journalists at a press conference in Warsaw, where he appeared together with the Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, after holding a high-level meeting between the two countries: “We have heard the court ruling. We do not know the content of the sentence, until September we will not be able to have a clear reading”. The president’s words denote a certain anger with the court. Government sources criticize that it will take more than a month to make the sentence public after having announced the ratification of the sentences.
Unlike other occasions, when the PSOE distanced itself from the former Andalusian presidents, this time it has come out in their defense by lamenting the high sentences, especially that of Griñán, without “not a single euro” being taken from the public coffers to your pockets. “Chaves and Griñán resigned from their political responsibilities more than five years ago. They have not been convicted and not even accused of having profited or having taken a cent of a euro or having irregularly financed the party,” said Sánchez, who has repeated that “there has been no enrichment, no irregular financing, and yes political responsibilities.” before assuring that he presides over “a clean government, which has always been relentless against corruption.”
“We have always condemned the behavior of those who took advantage of a mechanism approved by the Andalusian Government and the Andalusian Parliament that helped hundreds of workers and companies in times of great difficulty. At no time can it be affirmed that Chaves and Griñán had anything to do with anything that I have previously pointed out. We can affirm that they are paying the just with sinners”, stated Sánchez.
The answer left unanswered by the Executive is whether what Chaves and Griñán did can be considered corruption given that Sánchez defended modifying the law to prohibit government pardon from being granted to people convicted of such crimes. “Ruling on hypotheses is not appropriate. The steps that the defenses have decided will be whatever they are and what the Government is going to do is act within the framework of the law and collaborating with justice”, the president responded to the question about the measure of grace for former Andalusian presidents .
Sánchez was also asked about the situation of the Spanish journalist Pablo González, imprisoned in Poland for 150 days accused of spying for Russia. The president has acknowledged that he has discussed the matter with Prime Minister Morawiecki, but has not elaborated. “I have appreciated the collaboration of the Polish Government,” said the president, who recalled that González “receives consular assistance like any other Spanish citizen in this situation” and that “the consul has visited him on several occasions and has found him well” . “This is a matter that is in the hands of the Polish courts,” added Sánchez, who has shown respect for the “rule of law and Polish justice” just as he “always” requests it for Spanish justice. He has also assured that the Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, is in contact with his Polish counterpart “to follow up on the issue and provide support to the family of the Spaniard who is currently on trial.”
Sánchez traveled to Warsaw this Wednesday accompanied by the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Transport and Social Security and Inclusion, the latter as a gesture for the work that Poland is carrying out in welcoming refugees. The high-level meeting, which follows the one held in the Madrid town of Alcalá de Henares in May 2021, aims to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, which have important trade relations with a balance that exceeded 14,000 last year. millions of euros.
On this occasion, the presence of the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, sought the signing of a framework declaration of support for the contract that Ineco has signed within the framework of the “Solidarity Transport Hub” connection project in Poland, which has a economic potential of some 28,000 million, according to Spanish government sources. In the case of Margarita Robles, she has signed a memorandum of understanding on Defense matters with the Polish Government.
Asked about the increase in military spending in the next budgets, which is an issue that arouses the reluctance of United We Can and also of the parliamentary allies on the left, Sánchez has avoided giving specific figures and has stuck to defending that the increase means reaching to 2% of GDP in 2029.