The Government assumes that the crisis with ERC leaves the laws of housing, memory and citizen security up in the air

The Government is aware that the espionage of the CNI to the pro-independence world, no matter how much it was partially authorized by a judge, has plunged it into its greatest political crisis with the partners since the legislature began. Although in Moncloa they take it for granted that the situation with ERC will be redirected soon, pending the meeting between Pedro Sánchez and Pere Aragonès whose date is unknown for now, they assume that it will have effects on their normative production or, at least, on the calendar approval of laws in Congress.

In the Executive they recognize that none of the 'star' measures that are in Parliament will go ahead before the summer, no matter how advanced their negotiation is. And they attribute the delay to the delicate situation in relations with ERC after the outbreak of the espionage scandal. The session period ends at the end of June after a long international agenda by Pedro Sánchez, who will star in at least two appearances between May and June: one forced by the opposition to be held accountable for espionage and another to report on the European Council and your trip to Morocco. The intention of the socialists is that a plenary session be held in July – when Moncloa plans to convene the debate on the state of the nation –, but not the commissions to activate laws such as the so-called gag law, approved by the Rajoy government and still in force in some of its most controversial aspects, that of housing or that of democratic memory.

The revelation that some 65 people linked to Catalan and Basque sovereignty, including the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès (before he was) were watched through the Pegasus system has forced the PSOE to put the reform of the gag law back in the drawer, according to sources from the socialist group, who point out that the text is very advanced, in the absence of closing some fringes. It is not the first time that the processing of this rule has been blocked: the battle for the labor reform -which finally went ahead thanks to the error in the telematic vote of a PP deputy- also meant that it was postponed, according to the same sources .

The reform of the citizen security law that the PP approved in 2015 with the roller of its absolute majority, called by its critics as a 'gag law', was one of the first initiatives that were registered in this legislature (after having tried without success in the former). The PNV took it to Parliament in December 2019, but it was not until nine months later that it was admitted for processing. Despite the fact that the PSOE and United We Can, in addition to the rest of their allies, promised almost seven years ago to repeal that rule, the bulk of their measures are still in force and some of them were even used to sanction violations of the state of alarm in the worst of the pandemic. The articles referring to hot returns are also still in force, but Moncloa's decision is to address the matter within the Aliens Lawgiven the discrepancies that it now maintains with the rest of the groups.

The repeal of the 'gag law' is in the presentation phase and steps have been taken to approve a new text, such as the agreement so that the retention to identify suspects by the security forces does not exceed two hours and that the person has to be returned to the same placebut in the PSOE they recognize that "there will not be time" in this period of sessions, which will also be paused for two weeks due to the Andalusian elections on June 19.

That is one of the most advanced norms of the great promises of the coalition Executive that have been proposed as proposals or bills. Socialist sources also point out that the state housing law will have to wait months to see the light, despite having requested its urgent processing. The Government and the ERC have already reached a first agreement that made it possible to save in extremis the beginning of the process by accepting Moncloa an explicit commitment on the attribution of powers, which was one of the main discrepancies of the Republicans.

Another regulation that has been sitting in the drawer for a long time, with no sign of dusting off, is the Democratic Memory Law, which was born blocked. The PSOE carried it as a flag, but has gone on to barely mention it due to the risk of shipwrecking the text that contemplates the annulment of the political trials of the Franco regime, the illegalization of the Francisco Franco Foundation or the elimination of noble titles granted during the dictatorship . ERC demanded from the outset that a modification of the 1977 Amnesty Law be incorporated so that crimes committed during the Franco regime can be investigated and tried, an extreme that in Moncloa they see as impossible. The standard has been on standby since November.

Republican sources admit that they cannot vote against social laws such as housing or the "only yes is yes" law, which is bogged down without having reached Parliament yet. The president of the ERC, Oriol Junqueras, put it this way this week in a interview in the country: “We are here to help all citizens. We will agree with the Government if it rows in this same direction”. “Our will is to be able to vote for what we are convinced is useful for the citizenry,” added the Catalan leader, who lowered the demand for the dismissal of Margarita Robles hours before the Council of Ministers dismissed the director of the CNI, Paz Esteban, as a gesture to the partners.

The PSOE clings to that position of the Republicans, where they hope to definitively unravel the situation. “We continue to work with ERC. Negotiations have never broken down or anything. There was a lot of anger, but also a lot of staging, ”says a leader.

However, the situation is complicated. The first fracture occurred in the negotiation of the labor reform and the next warning from the Republicans –this one was due to espionage– came with the vote against the shock plan to alleviate the effects of the war, the approval of which was once again maintained in suspense to the Government practically until the last minute. What they rule out in Moncloa is that the national security law – to which the ERC presented an amendment to the totality seconded by the rest of the allies – obeys the same situation. "The national security law has always been agreed upon by the PP and PSOE," state government sources.

However, in the last plenary session, the ERC did not support any of the other government initiatives either: it voted against the PSOE proposal to toughen the crime of trafficking of Ukrainian women under the argument that it is "discriminatory" with respect to to other conflicts, opposed the project that regulates the manufacture of explosives because it leaves out the Mossos, and abstained from the decree that contemplates an "exceptional system" to persecute the assets and accounts of Russian oligarchs in the hands of figureheads.

After the votes and in the midst of dust due to the parliamentary weakness of the coalition, Moncloa issued an unusual press release in which it stressed that the Government had obtained "the necessary support to continue advancing on the legislative agenda" and compiled data on approved initiatives in Congress this legislature: "140 legislative initiatives have been approved (59 laws, 80 decree laws and a legislative decree)".

In the Government they hide precisely in the fact that all the measures that it takes to Parliament go ahead, even if it is with different arithmetics – only the decree of the remnants for the municipalities has been overturned. “We have spent four years in which we have turbulence from time to time and ERC gets as it gets, but have we lost something in Congress?”, they ask in the socialist leadership. "ERC is very tempted by the clothes that we take things out without them," says that same source who assures that the Republicans "spoke" with EH Bildu about the shock plan against the war and that they voted against it as a warning after making sure that would come out ahead and they would not jeopardize those essential measures to alleviate the crisis.

Sánchez conveyed to his supporters in the last Executive of the PSOE the need to confront the idea that the PP is installing that the legislature is coming to an end and thus try to avoid a permanent campaign during the more than year and a half that remains until the elections . That is why in his public appearances since the espionage crisis began, he insists that the mandate will last until December 2023, after occupying the European presidency.

“No difficulty, no turbulence and no specific crisis is going to divert the progressive coalition government from the task of transformation and modernization that we are carrying out thanks to European funds”, he stated on Thursday at the inauguration of the event 'European Recovery Funds: the main projects, in detail' organized by In his speech, mostly economic, he defended that PSOE and United We Can, together with their parliamentary allies, have given "the stability that Spain needed" through the agreements.

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