The Government does not get wet by the director of the National Intelligence Center (CNI), Paz Esteban. Moncloa avoids giving him support in the midst of the espionage scandal that has led to the revelation that the phones of Pedro Sánchez and Margarita Robles were infected with the Pegasus software a year ago without the intelligence services being able to detect the attack. "Every moment has its eagerness", the spokeswoman, Isabel Rodríguez, responded to the question of whether she rules out that in the near future there will be a resignation of the head of the Spanish secret services. She has previously specified that "at this time" both the Defense Minister and the director of the CNI have "full support" from the president.
Pedro Sánchez's phone was spied on hours after the start of the Ceuta migration crisis
Already this morning the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, had shied away from supporting Esteban, and has limited himself to saying that he has to “work” to clarify what happened. Within this work the appearance in the commission of reserved expenses of the Congress this Thursday is framed. That appointment will be behind closed doors. But the spokeswoman has gone a step further by leaving support for the head of the CNI up in the air beyond that date.
“We are in the phase of clarifying what has happened, to whom it has happened, and this is decisive to continue advancing in how we correct what happened. We cannot move on to the next moment without knowing what has happened so far”, Rodríguez responded at the press conference after the Council of Ministers. United We Can demands that responsibilities be purged and points directly to the Ministry of Defense, the body on which the CNI depends.
In this stage of clarifying what happened, the Government avoids entering into "future" questions about who carried out this espionage after having pointed out this Monday that it could not only be a foreign government but also that multinational companies have Pegasus. In that sense, Rodríguez did not want to go into what would happen if it is determined that Morocco was behind the attack given that the journalistic investigations carried out in July of last year concluded that the secret services of that country had the president in their sights. French, Emmanuel Macron. The first intervention on Sánchez's cell phone occurred hours after the height of the crisis between Madrid and Rabat, which caused the massive entry of thousands of people in just 36 hours in Ceuta, destabilizing the border.
“It is a future possibility to know what consequences it would have to know, if we ever know, where that attack came from. What we are clear about is that it is external and illicit”, Rodríguez replied to the question of whether the Government would again change its position on the Sahara and the relationship with Morocco if it was found that it was behind the attack.
“The systems are being updated”
The espionage to Sánchez and Robles has monopolized the press conference after the Council of Ministers. The main key is why it has taken a year to find out that the phones of none other than the president and the defense minister were hacked with Pegasus. The explanation offered by the Government is that today the detection systems are more advanced than then, but it maintains that the cell phones of the cabinet are continuously controlled. In fact, he has pointed out that Spain is the fourth country in the world and the second in Europe in terms of cybersecurity, but "these things happen". "What we do is strengthen our capacities every day and every day we have followed the protocols with the means that have been available at all times," he pointed out.
"All the devices are being permanently analyzed with the resources and systems that exist at all times, which are evolving," he said in a first response. “The protocols have a complex procedure, which is when a more exhaustive examination is carried out as a result of an investigation, which is what has occurred at this time, requires physically carrying the device and, therefore, the impossibility of being able to use it during that time”, he has subsequently justified on the analysis that is being carried out now, despite the fact that in July 2021 it was revealed that numerous leaders were the object of attacks. “The security protocols have been maintained over time [ha dicho a continuación sobre las propias indicaciones del Centro Criptológico Nacional sobre la seguridad frente a Pegasus] and systems and resources available to us are being updated. The circumstance may arise that those of today that we have are more effective than those of yesterday and tomorrow they will be more ”, she has settled.
Anger with the PP: "The campaign is going to be long"
The spokeswoman has also expressed the deep anger in the Government with the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who questioned that Moncloa made the attack on Sánchez and Robles known a year after it took place and described it as "no minor political coincidence". ” due to the crisis that the Executive is going through with its partners precisely because it is espionage on dozens of people linked to the independence movement. "If at any time someone had expectations with his change at the head of the PP, they have probably been frustrated," she lamented, adding that his "loyalty and sense of state leave much to be desired." “While others hammered and smashed computers [ha dicho en referencia al PP]what we do is make ourselves available to Justice to clarify everything”, he added.
“Those who have started the electoral campaign are going to take a long time,” said Rodríguez, who has taken it for granted that Sánchez will exhaust his term, no matter how much the allies doubt it given the circumstances. “The legislature is measured in terms of its contribution to the progress and modernity of our country, in terms of security and peace of mind for citizens”, he pointed out: “We still have very important projects to tackle ahead of us. The deployment of European funds remains, the largest public investment that this country has received in the shortest time. That means more employment, modernity in our industrial system, cohesion, and we want to complete this work because the Spaniards deserve it. We have made an effort to address it and we have amply demonstrated that both in crisis management we have proven solvency and in forming majorities to improve people's lives and we will be working on that until the last day”.