The Constitutional Court has just beaten the Government twice: it considers that the confinement of the population during the worst moments of the COVID-19 pandemic was not in accordance with the law and allows the right to rearm against Pedro Sánchez. The court’s ruling, which has caused significant discomfort in the Executive, agrees with Vox, which prompted an appeal against the decree of state of alarm that has been estimated by six votes compared to five in the sentence drawn up by the conservative Pedro González – Trevijano. The decision does not question the measures adopted, such as home confinement, but understands that they were not taken with the appropriate legal tool.
The Government reaffirms that the state of alarm was “essential” and shows “surprise” by the ruling of the Constitutional Court
PP and Vox have taken advantage of the resolution to charge against the Government and request the resignation of Sánchez again, despite the fact that both parties supported the activation of the alarm, an instrument that also received the endorsement of the Council of State, of sentences of the Supreme , and whose absence some judges are now seizing in their rejection of restrictions such as the curfew.
The far-right party has not been slow to jump into the jugular of the Executive, claiming the success of the Constitutional decision. It is his first great victory before that body that has not failed for a long time in favor of PP resources against progressive policies, such as the parity of the electoral lists or the extension of the terms of the judicial instructions, or even in its judicial battle against the independence movement (He endorsed, for example, Carles Puigdemont’s candidacy for the European elections despite the resources of PP and Ciudadanos).
“The Constitutional Court declares illegal the first state of alarm decreed by Pedro Sánchez. Only Vox voted against a government that violated the Constitution,” the party of Santiago Abascal has rushed to say on Twitter, which has lied since its deputies They seconded the first extension of the state of alarm that was voted on March 25, 2020 in Congress. Moreover, the leader of the extreme right urged Sánchez to decree the state of alarm days before the Council of Ministers did and showed his full support once it was approved. “I hope from all the public representatives of Vox the maximum collaboration with the announced measures,” he went on to say in a tweet in which he also added that the time would come to “demand responsibilities.”
Vox soon dropped from the consensus and in the next extension of the state of alarm, he voted against it, along with a deputy from ERC and the CUP. With the passage of the weeks of confinement, the extreme right was hardening its speech, encouraging the caceroladas against the Executive of Sánchez and appealed the confinement before the Constitutional Court forcing the PP to also distance itself from the majority support for the alarm: on May 6 He abstained and fifteen days later went to ‘no’, making the negotiation of the extensions very complicated for Moncloa.
Crossing of reproaches between PP and Vox
Beyond the trump card that a completely divided court has given to Vox, the ruling intensifies the war within the right. Abascal’s party has taken the opportunity to send a taunt to the PP after his victory in court by insisting on the motion of censure that Citizens also now wants Casado to push, despite the fact that the numbers do not give them to unseat the coalition.
PP and Vox have engaged in a battle on social networks as a result of the Constitutional ruling after Pablo Casado’s number two placed his head of ranks as the first to see him. Teodoro García Egea was referring to the parliamentary debate on the first extension of the state of alarm in which the head of the opposition spoke of a “disguised state of exception” due to the “extraordinary powers” that the Government had thanks to the alarm. “It affects the limitation of fundamental rights that the Constitution does not include in the figure that we approved today. For that reason, we have not even presented amendments to the decree, not because it cannot be improved, which it is a lot, but because it has already exceeded with You grow its constitutional scope, “said Casado, who showed his support” out of a sense of the State and out of institutional loyalty. ” It did not last long.
“How little shame you have! You voted in favor of the state of alarm and against the motion of censure,” Vox replied from its official account. “For once we vote the same …”, has answered, in turn, García Egea to those who are his partners in practically all the places where the PP has power.
Casado has taken advantage of his presence in an act in Melilla to vindicate his position both in favor of and against the state of alarm. “We put up with the criticism of many for saying that we withdrew our support for the state of alarm. We even put up with the criticism of many for saying that we supported it, although we said that we knew that it exceeded the constitutional framework; but that we could not bear 1000 daily deaths,” he said the leader of the PP, who has claimed his legal plan B in the form of a pandemic law that would not have served to lock up citizens at home as it is ordinary legislation when precisely the Constitutional Court considers that it should have been done through the state of exception, which is one degree higher than alarm.
The PP also insists that this pandemic law would allow it to face the fifth wave that Spain is facing. However, most courts have rejected the curfew considering that the restriction of fundamental rights such as mobility – in this case at night – have to be carried out within the constitutional framework of the alarm.
“You are not ashamed! [ha insistido Vox en Twitter en respuesta a Casado]. You voted in favor of all states of alarm and abstained in the extension of 6 more months. You even proposed a national law to limit the right to free movement of Spaniards! “The far-right party has instigated citizens to try to recover the money from the fines that were put in the framework of the state of alarm – although many have not been collected or have been reversed by the courts. – The Constitutional Court, in addition, shields the State so that there can be no claims for patrimonial losses due to the unconstitutionality of the alarm.
The Government believes that it acted within the “constitutional parameters”
In any case, for Moncloa the Constitutional ruling is a blow that gives ammunition to the right. The Government has not hidden its anger at the ruling that it considers an “unprecedented” ruling given that similar legislation was used in all neighboring countries for the unprecedented confinement. Government sources have also shown their “surprise” at the “unprecedented” nature of the ruling, recalling that it came out by a narrow margin of a single vote, and reaffirming “that that Royal Decree of the State of Alarm was absolutely essential to save lives and in accordance with the Constitution and the organic law of the state of alarm “.
Although it was the then First Vice President, Carmen Calvo, and the current Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory, Félix Bolaños, who were in the fine print of that exceptional decree, Moncloa has left it in the hands of the new Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, the official explanations about the ruling that, as she has said, “the Government respects but does not share.” “The Government respects the criteria of the six magistrates who have supported the resolution, although it considers that the action was in accordance with the constitutional parameters, as defended in that same resolution by other five magistrates. The Constitutional Court ruled on the same terms. and the Supreme Court in previous resolutions that referred to the state of alarm “, has summarized Llop.
“The duty of the Government was to take immediate, urgent and proportionate measures in the face of the spread of an unknown virus – he expressed in an appearance without the presence of journalists or the possibility of asking questions -. The confinement and exemplary conduct of the Spaniards allowed us stop the virus “. Llop has assured that the alarm decree “made it possible to save hundreds of thousands of lives.”
The PSOE points to the blockade of the PP
The PSOE raises the tone even more and revolts against the decision. Socialist sources criticize that the court tries to be more “invasive” in the fundamental rights with the application of the state of exception, which is more restrictive and attribute this position to a “conservative mind” compared to the “more proportionate” position that it maintained. judgment, the Government. In any case, the Socialists maintain that the court “has not questioned whether the people confine themselves but whether it had to do so with a state of alarm or of exception and point out that the latter would have had the Executive” tied hand and foot “in those moments of uncontrolled spread of the virus since it requires a vote in Congress before applying it – in addition to the fact that it can only be maintained for a maximum of 60 days compared to the more than 90 that Spain had restrictions. “The Government acted as the rest of western governments. There is no example of a country that has used the state of exception to fight COVID “, they point out in the PSOE.
The Socialists also recall that the Constitutional Court endorsed the state of alarm in a ruling on April 30, 2020, and that the Supreme Court “declared that the state of exception is not foreseen for cases such as the one that affects us, but in which the state of emergency is altered. public order”. “It is unusual that a sentence of this importance for the country and to fight against the pandemic has been adopted with positions so far removed from the magistrates and against the previous criteria of the Constitutional Court and the two sentences of the Supreme Court,” they conclude.
“It would be necessary to ask, at this moment that the Constitutional one has 11 magistrates of which 8 are conservatives, if it is the reason why the PP does not want to renew the constitutional organs”, point out the socialists, who see “regrettable” that PP and Vox have used the state of alarm against the Government after supporting it in Congress.