“Of course”. The answer has been brief, but clear: Pedro Sánchez supports the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, in the midst of the crisis due to espionage on dozens of people linked to the independence movement. The President of the Government is not considering dismissing the political leader of the CNI, whom the allies of the coalition, including the minority partner, have targeted after he justified espionage against the Catalan independence movement at the most critical moment for the Government with its partners.
Sánchez says that the CNI acted within the framework of the law and summons the ERC to return to dialogue in the face of the espionage crisis
Although Robles’ words did generate some discomfort in the socialist ranks since they occurred in the midst of the ERC crisis and when the Government had to roll up its sleeves to try to get enough votes for the anti-crisis plan to go ahead, the socialist wing of the Government closes ranks around her. “Your work is being carried out impeccably, trying not to violate at this time the secrets that the law requires you to keep and addressing the bodies that have to carry out this investigation,” the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, had previously said.
Montero has also minimized the words of the Minister of Defense and has pointed out that “she transferred the reality of what she can tell up to now”. “All the actions that the CNI or other organizations have been able to carry out have been carried out under the protection of the law”, the socialist has sentenced after Robles justified espionage at times such as the declaration of independence in 2017 or the public disorders in Catalonia after the sentence of process promoted by Tsunami Democratic.
Robles, who was not present this Thursday because he was on an official trip to Latvia, warmed up during the government control session on Wednesday by justifying espionage. “What does a State have to do, what does a Government have to do when someone violates the Constitution, when someone declares independence, when someone cuts off public roads, commits public disorder, when someone is having relations with political leaders of a country that is invading Ukraine, or when organizations like the SEPE or ministers’ telephones are ‘hacked’?” he asked. His words fell like a bucket of cold water on ERC, which quickly called for his resignation. United We Can accused the Minister of Defense of “boycotting” most of the investiture.
Moncloa avoided commenting on the matter on Wednesday afternoon, when the telephones were buzzing with the last-minute negotiation to save the decree. Today, with calmer spirits after receiving the confirmation of the vote in favor of EH Bildu with which they obtained sufficient support, several members of the Government have come out in defense of Robles.
But when the government benches have truly breathed a sigh of relief, it has been when they have heard Meritxell Batet confirm that the decree of the shock plan against the effects of the war achieved the expected votes. Faultlessly. Although achieved at the last minute. The president, who canceled a trip to Poland and Moldova due to the critical situation, has left the chamber and addressed journalists, something that is not usual: “We have very positive news, frankly reassuring. What has prevailed is the general interest of the citizens against the politicking of those who put their partisan interests before the general interest. I would like to make a claim for healthy politics and that is to think about the common good, in the general interest, in the demands of citizens in the face of unhealthy politics that bets everything on the worse, the better”.
“We are at a transcendental moment for Europe, we are not here to put partisan interests first, which may be legitimate in other contexts”, Sánchez expressed when asked if he would have liked to have had the PP. The message was going to Alberto Núñez Feijóo, but in the Government they also look at ERC, which has voted against the decree law due to the espionage crisis.
“Yesterday we saw how Russia cut off gas to Poland and Bulgaria and that has a series of political and economic implications that are having a clear impact on the price of electricity and the cost of living. In this context, we have to measure where the debates are, if we are in favor of the interests of the people or if, on the contrary, we are with our backs to the street”, said Sánchez, who has insisted on claiming “sound politics against the unhealthy policy of the worse the better”. The president has assured that “the problem is not that the Government” had lost a parliamentary vote, which it may lose “but that measures such as the reduction of electricity taxes, direct aid to the primary sector or the rise in Income would have failed.