Despite the fact that the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, promised “total transparency” about the Pegasus case, tomorrow he will merge the explanations he owes to Congress for his negotiations with the independentistas with nine other issues that have nothing to do with wiretapping: from the renewal of the CGPJ, to Covid-19, going through European funds or the unconstitutionality of the second state of alarm, among others.
Bolaños’ accountability for the talks to calm his partners will take place tomorrow in the Constitutional Commission of Congress, just one day after the dismissal of the director of the CNI, Paz Esteban, announced on Tuesday. And in addition to being mixed with nine other different topics, her explanations could be relegated to the end of her speech, since the published agenda includes them as the last point of an accumulated debate.
The Executive is thus once again pulling stratagems to reduce control of Congress and steal information from the opposition about a highly topical political problem. Not in vain, the minister will have unlimited time to intervene but not the opposition, whose interventions will be priced.
Bolaños owes explanations, at the request of Cs, about the content of his meeting with members of the Generalitat (on April 24) after the outbreak of the Pegasus case and about the reform of the Commission for the control of reserved expenses promoted by the President of Congress, Meritxell Batet, two days later, to calm the secessionists by making them members of it.
Moncloa’s plan is for the session to start tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. with an explanation by Bolaños of the Government’s Annual Regulatory Plan for this year. It is the only point for which the Minister of the Presidency goes to the Chamber at his own request. Next, he must clarify why he assured in Ser on September 2 that “judges cannot elect judges” to renew the General Council of the Judiciary. Some explanations claimed by Vox.
After that, it must report on the destination of the 927,380 euros planned to digitize the records and files related to prisoners and victims of Franco’s repression charged to European funds and why this disbursement “contributes to its purposes” and, specifically , to digital transformation “as an economic boost to recover pre-pandemic activity more quickly” and “to structurally achieve a real transformation and modernization of the economy.”
These explanations are required by the PP, which also demands that Bolaños render accounts on the other seven points that the minister intends to dispatch in a single appearance. Among them, the assumption of responsibilities for the ruling of the Constitutional Court that declared unconstitutional the extension of six months of the second state of alarm (October 2020) or the explanations about the real reasons why the Government allowed massive acts and did not promote measures adequate in the face of the pandemic when the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, has recognized that “we saw what was going to happen”.
Bolaños will still have to clarify four other issues: the degree of compliance with the non-law proposals approved by Congress -a good percentage ignored by the Government as they are not binding-; as well as the low execution of European funds and “the discretion observed in the allocation” of some items; or the lack of transparency in the trips of the head of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, after the National Court has ruled that Moncloa cannot abuse secrecy to hide data. After all this, he will be held accountable for the execution of the European funds assigned to his ministry, and lastly the explanations for his negotiations with the independentistas appear.
Help from PSOE and Podemos
Bolaños’s appearance tomorrow will be the second that he makes before the Constitutional Commission after taking office in July of last year and will also take place eight months after the first. The Minister of the Presidency made his debut before this body on September 9, to explain the general lines of his department and has not stepped foot on that commission again despite the insistent requests to appear that the opposition, fundamentally, the PP has requested during all these months.
To clear the jam, the Ministry of the Presidency asked the Commission Bureauchaired by the socialist patxi lopez and controlled by PSOE Y Canthat all requests for Bolaños’s appearance be debated cumulatively at the minister’s next appointment.
This was approved on April 6, in a new example of lack of transparency on the part of the Government, now taking advantage of that agreement to include the explanations subsequently requested by Citizens about the negotiations with the independentistas by Pegasus. The appointment will start at 4:00 p.m. and will be held after an intense day that will start at 9:00 a.m. with the control of the Government in the hemicycle.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism