The initiative to modify the Penal Code and eliminate, or reduce, crimes related to freedom of expression has caused a confrontation between the PSOE and United We Can, who has accused its partner of breaching the coalition agreement and of announcing at the last minute on Monday a proposal by the Ministry of Justice after the confederal group had notified the First Vice Presidency of Carmen Calvo of its intentions to register and communicate its own initiative this Wednesday. The Socialists deny "uncoordination" and claim they are "different forces in electoral campaign".
PSOE and United We can clash over the equal treatment law in the middle of the development of the LGTBI and Trans regulation
This Wednesday the president of the United We Can parliamentary group, Jaume Asens, and the deputy spokesman, Enrique Santiago, specialized in legal issues, appeared at a press conference in the Congress of Deputies. Both have announced the registration this morning of a bill "for the protection of freedom of expression" that states "to repeal the articles of the Penal Code that violate this fundamental right contained in the Constitution." Specifically, the proposal wants to eliminate crimes of insults to the Crown, against religious sentiments, insults to State institutions, and glorification of terrorism.
The announcement came a few hours after Moncloa announced a review of "most controversial" crimes related to freedom of expression to prevent them from leading to prison sentences.
The Secretary of State for Communication sent a message to journalists around nine o'clock at night informing about the initiative. But United We can have denounced that said communication was made after the confederal group formally notified its government partner of its intentions.
Enrique Santiago has assured in a press conference that Unidos Podemos "has followed the government agreement" and notified the Secretary of State for Relations with the Courts yesterday afternoon. Sources from the confederal group assure elDiario.es that this communication took place at 7:30 p.m. In fact, United We Can summoned journalists to the press conference this afternoon 10 minutes later, almost an hour and a half before the announcement of Moncloa.
Santiago also recalled that Unidos Podemos already proposed this reform of the Penal Code in March 2018, but that the proposal declined due to the dissolution of the Courts in 2019. Unidos Podemos insisted in February 2020, but "the urgency of the pandemic "caused them to withdraw the proposal that they have now re-registered.
The deputy spokesperson for United We Can has assured that the group has "scrupulously followed the agreed protocol" and that they received the approval of Relations with the Courts. "Of course the PSOE knew" the initiative, he concluded.
As for the Moncloa initiative, Santiago has shown his "joy that the Ministry of Justice expresses its agreement with this initiative. Of course we are both going to be in favor." After qualifying as a "political statement" the announcement of the socialist part of the Government, and saying that they do not know "any text of the partners" in this regard, the also leader of IU has asked his government partner to support a "processing by the emergency route ".
"We have the approval of Relations with the Courts. We do not oppose the Government. The ministries agree", reiterated Santiago, who has settled: "This has not been done in the equal treatment law presented by the PSOEThere, the agreement is being breached ".
María Jesús Montero attributes it to the Catalan elections
From the PSOE they have attributed the discrepancies to the Catalan elections next Sunday. First the PSOE deputy spokesperson in Congress, Rafael Simancas, and then the Government spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, during the press conference after the Council of Ministers.
Montero has assured that "the important thing is to promote this regulatory change." "It does not have any type of interest from where the initiatives of this Government start or stop starting from," he said. The Government spokeswoman has insisted that "these days of the campaign there are many statements that can be understood within that context, but it does not make sense because the important thing is that the Council of Ministers approves that legislation", although she has not explained why Moncloa made his announcement at 9:00 p.m. after being informed by his partners at United We Can.
"Governments have to be open to be able to perceive having the freshness of pressing the feelings of society, they cannot wait four years," he said. Montero has given as an example the legislative change promoted by the Government after the sentence of "the herd." However, he insisted that "some formations want to lead some issues since there are elections and the formations want to take an advantageous position."
Montero has also been asked about the influence that the manifesto signed by dozens of people has had on the PSOE movement. artists and journalists criticizing the sentence against Pablo Hasel. "Everything is important and everything influences," said Montero, who has argued that the Government "interacts with society, has the ability to listen."