The Government sends to a blocked commission in Congress the explanations about the espionage to independentistas
Government insists that he cannot explain the alleged espionage to dozens of people, fundamentally pro-independence leaders and their entourage -among them the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonés- through Pegasus, a tool that is only available to governments, relying on the confidentiality required by law in the national security issues. But this Wednesday the Executive transferred to a certain extent the pressure on the group of parliamentary forces by ensuring that it can give all the information related to this matter in the Commission of Reserved Expenses of Congress, which has not yet been constituted due to the veto of the right to the presence of the independence forces.
The silence of Israel and Ireland complicates the investigation of espionage with Pegasus software
"It would be very good if that commission that has not yet been constituted in this legislature is constituted now", defended the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, in an interview on RTVE's 24 Horas in which she assured that in that parliamentary body no there is "that limit of those legal reserves" and, therefore, everything can be "explained with absolute transparency and documentation". “Transparency within the legal sphere”, Robles has said about that commission that is also known as official secrets and that meets behind closed doors.
"There you can talk without any kind of problem," said the Minister of Defense, to whom the CNI reports, the body to which the use of that tool is aimed after the Ministry of the Interior has assured that it does not use that system. According to the country, the CNI acquired Pegasus for six million euros to spy abroad. “The actions carried out by the CNI are subject to parliamentary control. I hope that soon that commission will be constituted that has not yet been constituted so that there, without any kind of restriction or reservation, which cannot be done because it is legally impossible, it can be declared clearly because submission to the law is absolute " , the minister insisted.
The Reserved Expenses Commission is the only one that has not been constituted since the legislature began at the end of 2019. The reason is that a qualified majority is needed for its composition (210), that is, that any of the forces of the right. However, PP, Vox and Ciudadanos reject the presence of ERC or EH Bildu. Socialist sources assure that their intention is for the commission to have the proportional representation of Congress.
In any case, the Defense Minister has reiterated that the CNI's actions have always been within the legal framework. In this sense, the Executive emphasizes that its movements are protected by judicial action. "During our mandate, the CNI and the Government have acted in accordance with current legislation," said Robles, who regretted that some "accusations" are made against the spies without "foundation." “It is easy to impute certain actions to the CNI because it cannot be defended; neither say one thing nor the other, ”she added.
Belarra: “If it is concluded that there are responsibilities, let them be purged”
The explanations that come out of Moncloa are insufficient both for the minority partner of the Executive and for the parliamentary allieswhat they even threaten to withdraw support for the coalition after the Generalitat cooled relations until light is shed on the matter. Although Moncloa had placed the discrepancies in the parliamentary sphere, the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, has demanded "transparency", but has referred to the appearance that the Minister of Defense will star in Parliament. "Minister Robles anticipated that she is going to appear" and give explanations on these issues, so it is appropriate to wait for her appearance, requested at her own request, "so that later she can give her opinion," Díaz said in statements to the press before giving a lecture at the University of Santiago (USC). “Spain is a democratic country and, therefore, democratic countries do not have to have any fear, nor any loophole to display transparency and how many clarifications are necessary”, she added, reports EFE.
The Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, has gone a step further by demanding explanations. “It is a matter of democratic quality”, said the general secretary of Podemos in Brussels, where she has gone to meet with the European Commissioner for Employment, Nicolas Schmit: “We know better than anyone what it means to be persecuted by the sewers of the State. And, precisely for that reason, we think that there can be no shadow of doubt on this issue. In this new case of espionage that Catalan politicians have suffered, we think that it has to be investigated to the end and that, in its case, the responsibilities that derive from it have to be purged”.
The Pegasus software, of Israeli origin, can only be purchased by states or state agencies, which is why both Citizen Lab and some of those spied on, such as former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and his former vice president, Oriol Junqueras, have targeted the government. In this sense, Belarra has demanded "all the investigations that are necessary to get to the bottom of the matter", one day after the spokeswoman for the Executive, the socialist Isabel Rodríguez, refused after the Council of Ministers to give explanations about the espionage to procés leaders alleging reasons of national security.
“We have to get to the bottom of this matter”, the general secretary of Podemos has insisted: “We are talking about an issue that is of basic democratic quality, of fundamental rights. We have been victims of the persecution of the sewers of the State, and we need to get to the bottom of this matter, that it be investigated in all areas and by all those who may have some responsibility. And, if it is concluded that there are responsibilities, that they be purged.