The second vice president of the Government, Yolanda Díaz, has served this Monday as coordinator of the United We Can space in the Executive and has transferred to the Ministry of the Presidency headed by Félix Bolaños her “discrepancy” about the draft of the Official Secrets Law that the department has led to the Congress of Ministers. Sources from the confederal space have explained to elDiario.es that the minority partner does not share the Presidency’s proposal, which proposes that official secrets can remain classified for more than 50 years
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That period, the sources consulted point out, seems “a lot” to Díaz, to the Minister of Social Rights and leader of Podemos, Ione Belarra, and to the rest of the ministers of United We Can. All of them also consider that the Presidency has not taken into account that the rule must be approved later in Congress, since the usual partners and, especially the PNV, have demanded that this period be reduced to at least 25, so the confederal group points out that the Executive would not have with its current proposal the necessary parliamentary support to carry out the norm.
From United We Can remember, however, that what the Council of Ministers approves this Monday is “the first round” of the law and that what they have agreed with the PSOE is to “agree on the discrepancy” regarding the classification deadlines in the negotiation of the second round of the text.
“Spain is a democratic country that does not have to be afraid of knowing its past,” say sources from the confederal group, who denounce that, with the current wording, the law would not serve to declassify documents from the dictatorship or the Transition, such as the attempted coup of 23-F or the violence of the GAL, among other issues.
Aitor Esteban: “The project arrives very late”
The PNV spokesman in Congress, Aitor Esteban, also considered this Monday that “a priori”, it is “disappointing” that the Government, in its draft Law on Official Secrets, contemplates that they can be classified for 50 years already that the Basque nationalists had proposed precisely that this period be half, 25 years.
“Once the text has been published, it will be time to analyze it in detail, especially with regard to the criteria and deadlines established for the declassification of documents and if there is a moratorium for its application. In any case, and according to reports, the deadlines seem far from those proposed by the Basque Group, even going so far as to double them, which is, a priori, disappointing”, Esteban pointed out.
He has recalled that his group already proposed to reform the secret law “six years” ago. For this reason, although he has considered that “it is good news” that the Government addresses it, “it is late, very late.” “Taking into account also that it is a Preliminary Bill, many doubts arise about the possibilities of this law completing its processing in the current legislature. It seems opportune, therefore, that the deadlines be accelerated so as not to waste the opportunity to update a Francoist law and advance in one of the structural reforms that the Spanish State still has pending”. The PNV also complains that the government has not “maintained any contact with the Jeltzale representation in Congress” nor has it transferred “any information to them in recent months.”
Along the same lines, the spokesman in the Congress of Deputies for More Country, Íñigo Errejón, has criticized the preliminary draft of the Official Secrets Law that the Council of Ministers will process this Monday, calling it “disappointing”. “The government’s official secrets bill is disappointing and continues to treat Spaniards as minors,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Sources from his party point out that “in a democracy even blind spots must be subject to control.” “We do not believe that more than 10 years should pass to make reserved information public knowledge, and no more than 25 years for secret information,” he remarked. “If someone considers that revealing what happened more than two and a half decades ago puts democracy at risk, they have a very poor view of the maturity of our citizens. With the law proposed by the PSOE, citizens who are now between 30 and 40 years old could never know the information that is being hidden from them now. We do not believe that the Government’s proposal is the way forward, and there is a majority to make a much better law”, they settle.
“Impunity must end”, according to EH Bildu
EH Bildu has considered this Monday that the Government “must rectify” its proposal. In the opinion of the independence formation, the Executive must “propose a reform that addresses what happened from transparency, recognition and truth about all cases of violation of rights and freedoms that concern the Spanish State and its apparatuses from the Franco regime to the today”. “Impunity must end,” says EH Bildu in a statement. For this reason, he points out that “a State that calls itself democratic cannot be forgotten, without knowing or resolving criminal actions by its apparatuses, be they police, judicial or political.”
“It is not acceptable that the reform proposed by the Government does not touch the main elements of a Francoist law that will keep secret everything that attacked the rights and freedoms of thousands of Basque men and women”, adds the pro-independence formation, which considers that the draft “It does not comply with the word given by the Government nor does it respond to the demands that Basque society and memorial parties and associations have made for decades from Euskal Herria in order to know the truth and seek justice in the numerous episodes that are still under the cloak of impunity”.
“If the proposal that will go through the Council of Ministers today is approved, flagrant cases of rights violations that occurred in Euskal Herria will continue without being clarified, such as the GAL, the systematic practice of torture or events such as those of March 3, 1976 in Vitoria-Gasteiz or the San Fermines of 1978. This decision would perpetuate impunity for these events, denying the truth, justice and reparation that all victims deserve”, he concludes.