Friday, January 21

Cs close to the Government with the victims of ETA and forces it to vote a new law

During the debate on the 2022 budget project, last week in Congress, there were very tense moments due to a matter that has nothing to do with budgets. They are related to AND.

In the networks, a fiery defense of the accounts of a minister, or a socialist deputy, did not go viral. Nor did the video with the most bitter criticism of the government’s numbers run at full speed on Twitter. What transpired was a dispute between Odón Elorza, Guillermo Díaz and Vox … By ETA.

The Cs deputy disapproved of the project for being impregnated with EH Bildu proposals. He regretted that the Basque independence formation has entered the equation of the legislative majority. The former mayor of San Sebastián and PSOE parliamentarian Odón Elorza came out minutes later to the rostrum to denounce such criticism and proclaim that “ETA is no longer in Congress.” Those who are, he said, are “the Francoists”, and pointed at the Vox bench with his gaze.

Ten years after the announcement of the end of ETA, the debate about ETA continues. In Congress it is common for progressive and conservative groups to get into tremendous brawls. Last week, after Elorza’s words, it could be thought that the crossing was over. Well no. Diaz spoke again and he dedicated his time to recall the testimonies of ETA victims or their relatives against agreements with EH Bildu. And as if that were not enough: a Vox deputy put white gloves on the rostrum, which the Presidency forced him to remove, and even the nationalist spokesperson, Mertxe Aizpurua, could not avoid allusions to the controversy. He criticized the tone on the right. “They bark,” he came to say.

Days later, Congress prepares for more moments of tension and anger. At the request of Cs, author of the initiative, the plenary session will debate this Tuesday the taking into consideration of a bill that establishes penalties up to 250,000 euros to those who promote or participate in acts that damage the honor and memory of the victims. To put it in other words: put an end to the ‘ongi etorri’, the acts of receiving ETA prisoners.

Political background

The company Metroscopia made an electoral poll between the end of October and the beginning of November on the occasion of the second anniversary of 10N, the electoral date that established the first coalition government of Spain at the state level. One of his most important conclusions pointed to the demobilization of the left, which is attributed to the configuration of a stable pacts with formations such as ERC and EH Bildu.

According to this thesis, the PSOE is penalizing, for the moment, this new network of external support. From promoting its legislative agenda with the help of nationalist parties such as the CiU, PNV or the Canary Islands Coalition, it has gone on to promote it together with the initials of the independence stamp. This disliked by a sizable handful of voters and potential voters. “About a third of its voters take refuge in indecision or abstention, a disenchantment that partly explains the current imbalance between the blocks”, Metroscopia points out in its latest study, which it has accessed ‘El Periódico de España ‘.

That the 2022 budgets are about to come true (the project has far exceeded the congressional process as it was approved with 188 votes) thanks to the support of ERC or the nationalist left, greatly disconcerting the socialist sector, particularly in communities of the southern half. It is difficult to understand in federations of the PSOE in Extremadura or Andalusia that certain agreements are sustained in organizations named on numerous occasions with expressions such as “heirs of ETA” or “children of ETA”, or directly “filoetarras”.

PP and Cs know what to debate about ETA in Congress, or to be more precise, about the victims of ETA, it hurts the PSOE. Or you can. Another issue is the relevance of the debate, or the legitimacy of the objective. For the Socialist deputies, the parties of the center-right, the right and the extreme right have an interest in enhancing the controversy in order to patrimonialize the claims of the victims, when not to obtain political and / or electoral revenues for it. For conservative and liberal deputies, these are acts of justice. The victims are now not being well treated, they express their opinions in private and in public, and for that reason, they champion and compete to champion their causes.

The Citizens Skill

The plenary session of the Congress this week will begin with the debate to take into consideration a proposition of law of Memory, Dignity and Reparation of all Victims of Terrorism. There is no one with a minimum of experience in Congress, be it a deputy, journalist or usher, who does not intuit a bronco session start. Original arguments, on the oratory level, one cannot expect many, not even that they are original; Nor are those of the parties that will once again accuse the right of praising a debate in which there should be no partisanship or acronyms.

But the text of the Citizens’ initiative, which the spokesperson, Edmundo Bal, will foreseeably defend on the rostrum, does have new elements. The most prominent is the articulation of a sanctions regime. The liberal formation lists a series of infractions before establishing the amount, and they are:

  • Breach the obligation to put a plate commemorative of the victims of ETA that is a native of the municipality.

  • Do not rename the stray with the names of the victims who are natives of the municipalities.

  • Include direct or indirect references to terrorist acts, their perpetrators or their cooperators in the street.

  • Failure to comply with the obligation to sign the monuments of tribute to the victims.

  • The deliberate deterioration of these places.

In these cases, and always with the appropriate graduation of the amount to be imposed, the penalty will range between 2,000 and 150,000 euros.

Likewise, Citizens includes one more assumption that carries a fine: those acts that, due to their impact on citizen security, involve “undermining the honor and dignity of the victims”. Without mentioning it explicitly, this is an allusion to the ‘Welcome’. The amount to be imposed will be between 50,000 and 250,000 euros.

This proposal, considered the stellar one by the proposing group, seems to be completely watered down. This Monday, through a statement, the ETA prisoner collective (EPPK) announced that it will end the public reception of released ETA inmates; it will replace them with “discreet” receptions in “the private sphere”.

Not even a week has passed since the approval of the budgets, which the right wing has reviled for economic and political reasons. Among the first, the lack of adaptation to reality; among the latter, the emergence of EH Bildu as one more act of support. It has already happened with the current accounts, the same arguments and the same protagonists. Ciudadanos hopes to “portray” the socialists with your proposal. They would like your support to approve the process of the initiative, but sources in the leadership of the parliamentary group acknowledge that the options for it to happen are slim.

Inflection point

When the Secretary of State for Democratic Memory, Fernando Martínez, contacted Edmund Bal a month ago to probe a possible support of Ciudadanos for the bill, the spokesman for the Liberals put a series of conditions on him, although one above of the others. Before speaking, that the PSOE accept the taking into consideration of the bill on victims of ETA. There was no answer.

Ciudadanos has made it clear that does not intend to support the norm of democratic memory just as the PSOE and United We want it, including amendments. The relationship between socialists and “oranges” is now non-existent. During the afternoon of Monday there was no dialogue regarding the admission for processing. Citizens, according to their sources, want first of all that there is processing; From there, he is willing to negotiate every point of his proposal, although without detracting from it.

If the PSOE closes the door, Citizens will close the bridges. It is not that there are many between the two parties, but it will close those that remain (in Congress especially) and will exercise constant opposition. “It’s a turning point: If the socialist group wants to negotiate our proposal, the understanding will be able to cover many fields; if he does not want to, if the grave, any support from Citizens for the remainder of the legislature will have ended, “the sources say.

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