Neither the letters, nor the trip to Brussels of the majority judicial associations, nor the pressure of the EU They have had no effect whatsoever. The PP maintains blocked the renewal of the General Council of the Judicial Power (CGPJ), whose mandate has already expired for almost three years. Pablo Casado has no intention of changing his position and is now shielded from demanding a change in the law so that the judges elect a part of their governing body as a condition to agree to negotiate with the PSOE the new composition. The socialists reject that formula and, in any case, they bet on opening the debate once the organism is renewed.
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But they don’t do it alone. This same Tuesday, Congress has rejected by a large majority a proposal of law of the PP precisely to change the system of election of the vowels. Almost all the parties criticized in the plenary session on Tuesday that those of Casado present themselves as champions of “judicial independence” after having spent almost three years blocking the renewal of the highest governing body of judges and their statements on the “control” of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Supreme Court, informs Iñigo Aduriz.
And precisely, that the PP does not have a sufficient majority is one of the arguments that the PSOE uses. “We want to unblock the situation and from there we are open to start any type of dialogue always respecting the will of the citizens reflected in the ballot box and, therefore, reflected in the parliamentary arch,” wielded the socialist spokesman, Héctor Gómez.
Things continue like this where they were despite the fact that the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, gave this Monday a hit on the table by again urging Spain to renew the CGPJ after receiving the judges’ associations in an attempt to raise the pressure. “There is concern about the lack of a renewal agreement in various constitutional bodies, not only the CGPJ. And it is very important that they be renewed by a qualified majority in Parliament,” said the Belgian, who also raised the need to reform the system election of the governing body of judges in line with what is recommended by the Council of Europe. It asks that 50% of its members be elected directly by the judicial career, although the Constitution establishes that at least eight must be elected on the proposal of Congress and the Senate.
The PP clings to this recommendation to persist in the blockade, which has now exceeded 1,000 days. The popular maintain that Brussels agrees with them when proposing a reform of the law as a condition for agreeing to renew the Judicial Power, although they are aware that said reform could not be used in the current renewal because, although blocked, the process of electing the new CGPJ is formally initiated and cannot be modified.
That is the last excuse that Casado makes, who came to close an agreement in 2018 with Pedro Sánchez and who dynamited the then PP spokesman in the Senate, José Ignacio Cosidó, at the send a WhatsApp message to your bank in which he assured that they would control the criminal chamber of the Supreme Court through the “back door”. After that failure, the Government and the PP resumed the negotiations, but those of Casado rejected the agreement due to the supposed participation of United We Can, first, and due to the veto of the magistrate Ricardo de Prada, who was one of the speakers of the Gürtel ruling , and Judge Vicky Rosell, current delegate of the Government for Gender Violence and former deputy of Podemos.
The Executive considers that the EU has given him the reason in his position by assuring that he makes “the same approach that the Government has been doing all these months to the PP.” Thus, the Socialists urge the main opposition party to comply with the law – which establishes that the mandate of the CGPJ must last five years – and to subsequently undertake a hypothetical reform of the same. However, the PSOE has always rejected this change – except in 2014 when Pedro Sánchez opted to “depoliticize” the body and that the parties stopped proposing candidates as well as in 2016, when he agreed with Albert Rivera a kind of contest public – and is committed to continuing to be the Cortes – based on the representation of popular sovereignty left by the polls in the general elections – those who vote the appointments. Government sources recall that with the current system twelve of these members (60% compared to the 50% recommended by Strasbourg) are proposed by the judges themselves.
“The law is not going to touch,” admit socialist sources. “The commissioner says two things: he demands the renewal and remembers a recommendation,” those sources say about the words of Reynders, who admitted that the legal reform is an “evolution” that may take “years or decades” to take place.
The renewal remains, therefore, as bitter as it was and this was confirmed this Tuesday by the Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory, Félix Bolaños, and the PP spokesperson, Cuca Gamarra, in the meeting they held in the framework of the contacts that the person in charge of coordinating the Government has initiated with the groups to address the budgets and demand a “sense of state” from the parties.
Moncloa and PP have exchanged reproaches. “The Government has verified that the PP continues to be rooted in not complying with the Law or the Constitution. Therefore, they fail to comply with the requirement of the European Commission and its Commissioner of Justice who has requested that the CGPJ be urgently renewed in accordance with the law Compliance with the law cannot be subject to condition. You cannot violate a law because a party that does not have a parliamentary majority has decided to change its mind and now wants to impose its will on the majority, “state government sources. The PSOE insists that the judiciary must first be renewed and then, in any case, open the debate on the change in the law.
The Government also considers that the condition of reforming the election system is an “excuse” for the PP to persist in a “political blockade” since, according to the spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, they maintain other organizations frozen, such as the Court Constitutional or the Ombudsman. “It is very serious that it is obstructing the normal development of appointments,” said Rodríguez, who regretted that this situation “affects the reputation” of Spain.
“We do not understand that they do not support a reform that they demand from the European Union to the judges themselves, and that it was a commitment by Sánchez,” say PP sources. Genoa considers that the commissioner agrees with them, despite the fact that he did not establish an order to comply with the demands of Brussels and that Casado has recently incorporated the demand for a prior start of the reform of the law, which was not on the table in previous negotiations. The popular also blamed the PSOE for voting against the initiative to change the system of election of judges that was debated in Congress this Tuesday and with which they wanted the socialists to be portrayed. But they only got the support of Ciudadanos and, including reprimand for lazy, from Vox.