It is not as hard to be Margarita Robles as the right-wing press says. They like to proclaim that the Minister of Defense is surrounded by the satanic elements of the Government, which are almost all of them, while she defends the unity of Spain and traditional customs. Now the biggest crisis of reputation of the intelligence services since the resignation of General Manglano has arrived, the PSOE partners demand his dismissal and it turns out that the outcome is that Robles reinforces her control of the CNI. When they come for you and in the end you keep the power you had by changing a couple of chips, you can say that you have won. Those who thought that Pedro Sánchez had no choice but to get rid of her do not know the president or the PSOE very well.
Robles was aware of that. He participated in the press conference of the Council of Ministers on Tuesday to announce the replacement at the top of espionage, one of those that leave journalists with the face that they have been mercilessly teased. We already know that the work of politicians is not based on giving reporters what they want, but a minimum connection with reality is appreciated. Don't make it seem like they're passing you by. Robles was too busy to worry about that.
The minister announced the appointment of the new director of the CNI as if there had been no dismissal or resignation. So a journalist had to ask what had happened then in a week to justify the relief. "Nothing has happened," Robles replied and she was so wide. She immediately went on to declare her true love for her – not for the first time – for the 3,000 secret service officers she loves as if she were her mother. Only Robles can boast of having 3,000 children and loving them all equally.
The election of the Secretary of State for Defense to replace Paz Esteban does not admit many alternative readings. Esperanza Casteleiro, 65, was until now the number two of the Ministry of Oaks to which she arrived in 2018 to become chief of staff of the minister herself. She had previously held a high position in the CNI after a long career as an agent that began forty years ago. It is a household appointment that the spies will welcome with relief. There will be no internal revolution in the service. If someone believes that they will stop using the Pegasus spy system, let's just say that their optimism does not belong in the real world.
All of this sounds pretty obvious. Not enough for Robles. She remembered Casteleiro's resume and that she was his main collaborator at the Ministry. "With that, everything is said," she stressed. They already know what they have to write. They shouldn't have bothered to come.
He did not even agree to get into the mess of clarifying whether Paz Esteban is a dismissal or a resignation. "I don't accept the term dismissal, but the substitution term." Not that they were different things. It is the beginning of "a new stage" in which some "errors" will be corrected that he certainly did not bother to explain.
United We Can had demanded that someone assume responsibility for the espionage of politicians and independence activists. I was thinking of the director of the CNI, although not only her. Pablo Echenique was not at all ambiguous when personally asking Robles to resign at the appearance at the Defense Commission last week. He repeated it on Tuesday. With the phrase that "political responsibilities cannot be delegated," he was taking direct aim at Robles.
It is worth thinking now what is the use of asking for something that you know they will not give you. The events of recent days suggest that the minister is protected in her position at least until the NATO summit in Madrid in June and perhaps until the end of the legislature.
The Government also moves in the realm of fiction if it believes that Esteban's dismissal will be enough to placate Esquerra. In the ERC-Junts competition there are no prizes for moderation. "The dismissal of the director of the CNI is not the solution to everything. If you think it will serve to close the topic, they are wrong", announced the spokeswoman for the Catalan Government. The last realistic card that Moncloa has left is to accept the declassification of the documents that were offered to the official secrets commission. The Socialists have declared with great intensity that an investigation commission will not is the right idea to back down now.
For the Popular Party, there is no room for doubt. The Government has been sold to the independentistas. It is what they have been repeating throughout the legislature, perhaps hurt because the Catalan nationalists have not called another consultation on independence when Rajoy had two. "Who's in charge here?" asked Cuca Gamarra, who quickly found the answer. "It's the independentistas who rule." In that case, why do they spy on themselves if they control the state?
Actually, the right should be happy. It has not been chosen to direct the CNI to someone of Pedro Sánchez's personal confidence, but to the main collaborator of Margarita Robles. his daisy. The only member of the Government whom they do not want to crucify.