Saturday, November 27

The PSOE will try to drag ERC into abstention to carry out the democratic memory law


At least the abstention by Esquerra Republicana. The Government pursues that, at least that, in order to carry out the democratic memory law. The Executive is aware of the position of maximum that the independence formation defends, and that it has always defended, and knows that leading it towards supporting the project can be a titanic operation, almost impossible, so that if it managed to displace it towards abstention – and convince, of course, the minority parties that tend to back coalition initiatives – could save one of the most remarkable measures of the legislature. Ultimately, the socialists claim reissue the formula that allowed the inauguration of Pedro Sánchez, in January 2020. However, Republicans already warn that they will not move from no if the Executive does not take steps in the direction they ask for, and they anticipate that they will have no qualms about voting against again, as they did in 2007 with the historical memory law promoted by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

At the start of the legislature, the bipartisan party was considering amending, precisely, the rule of 14 years ago, but later the then First Vice President, Carmen Calvo, opted for a more ambitious but also riskier alternative: to process a new law. In September 2020, the articles reached the Council of Ministers in first reading and landed for the second time, with the opinions of the advisory bodies in hand, last July, with Félix Bolaños as head of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory. After passing the total vote —ERC presented a return amendment with alternative text — the groups drafted the partial amendments. The registry was closed last Wednesday, and since then the wall has not dissipated that, for now, separates socialists and purples (with differences between them, by the way) from the republicans. So high that the PSOE dome does not have them all with him and does not rule out that his project finally crashes.

The law of memory is not organic. It is ordinary, which means that it requires a simple majority to be approved. More yeses than noes. PSOE (120), Unidos Podemos (34) —the vacancy left by the Canary Alberto Rodríguez has not yet been filled—, PNV (6), Más País (2) and Compromís (1) add up 163 deputies. The rights of PP (88), Vox (52), Ciudadanos (9), Unión del Pueblo Navarro (2), Foro Asturias (1) and Coalición Canaria (1) control 153 seats, although in the account the four parliamentarians of Junts could be added. The Government would therefore need ERC (13), EH Bildu (5) and the BNG (1) to abstain. But other small formations also play, such as the Regionalist Party of Cantabria (1), Teruel Existe (1), Nueva Canarias (1) —sanchez’s usual partners— or the PDECat, which usually temporizes with the Executive and is more flexible than JxCat . The CUP (2), on the other hand, is usually aimed at the opposite front to the Executive. The president’s inauguration went ahead by a very slim margin: two votes, 167 to 165 and 18 abstentions, those of Republicans and the ‘nationalist’ left, who usually coordinate their position.

The negotiating strategy that the Government will follow, as highlighted by Bolaños’ environment, is “talk to all groups“to go scratching support that allows to build that necessary consensus so that the norm has viability. But, obviously, they continue to explain to this newspaper in the direction of the Socialist Group in Congress, the formula that will be used is that of to tie the support of the usual partners of the Government to, at the very least, tie ERC’s abstention. Perhaps also that of Bildu, although there are sources in the party and in the Executive who see it easier for the Basque independentists to go to yes. But the backing of its five deputies would be insufficient if ERC does not get off the no.

Clash between partners

That is, everything happens right now because of the Republicans ‘decision, because the Citizens’ rapprochement is considered impossible. Edmundo Bal, the number two of Inés Arrimadas in Congress, asked the Executive not to call him until he withdraws the amendment agreed by the coalition partners that guided the interpretation of the 1977 amnesty law, in the sense that the war crimes and crimes against humanity are “imprescriptible and not amnestiable“Something that, for the purple ones, opens the door to end the” impunity “of the Franco regime. Bolaños denied that reading: the legal regime, he said Thursday,” will not change. ”

The minister appeared this Friday at the Senate Constitutional Commission, where he outlined the general lines of his department’s policy. Among them, the memory law, and there he took the opportunity to ask ERC and the rest of the groups to talk about the articles, look for “amendments” and “transactions” to find a “point of Balance“for Spain to reach the level it deserves as a full democracy, reports EFE. The Republican senator Josep Maria Reniu He reviewed, however, the shortcomings that his group observes in the project: claim the declaration of illegality of the Franco regime, that economic compensation be allowed to its victims and that partially repeal the amnesty law, which was widely supported the year it was approved: 296 votes in favor, two against, 18 abstentions (those of the Popular Alliance) and one null.

ERC demands, in particular, that the two points of the 1977 text that have been used to block the investigations against the torturers of the dictatorship, sections e) and f) of article 2, be eliminated. Those who forgive the “crimes and misdemeanors that may have been committed by the authorities, officials and agents of public order “as a result of the persecution of political acts or against” the exercise of people’s rights. ”

For the socialists, the clearest red line is this, precisely: the refusal to touch the amnesty law is resounding. They remember, as United Podemos does, that it was a conquest especially of the left in front of the “Franco’s bunker“He did not want democracy to arrive” not even “after the death of the dictator, in the words of Enrique Santiago, leader of the PCE, negotiator of the morados and Secretary of State of Agenda 2030, this Friday in RNE. The PSOE vindicates the norm, the legacy of the Transition, the Constitution and international treaties. “We will have to use some letter in negotiation to accommodate the requests of the groups, but we are clear that we are not going to move from this refusal to partially repeal the amnesty law, “they insist on the socialist leadership, a position that they ratify in the Executive. The Secretary of State for Democratic Memory, Fernando Martinezhas already made some first exploratory contacts with the groups, but now the talks will be led by Bolaños and his number two in the ministry, Rafael Simancas, Secretary of State for Relations with the Courts, in addition to Santiago on the purple side.

The antecedent of 2007

In United We Can, a greater optimism, although they are also aware of the impediments that, in their opinion, ERC puts. “They are playing something else. We are also clear that we don’t want to question the amnesty law, because if we tear it down, it is like telling the judges that they have been doing well all these years, when they relied on it so as not to investigate, and it is not like that, “they point out from the executive’s purple wing.

From the ERC group in Congress, led by Gabriel Rufián, they emphasize that “it is not true” that their abstention is more within reach: “It will not happen unless they move. We do not contemplate going to abstention to avoid so that the law is shipwrecked. For us it’s a nuclear issue. 14 years ago [con la ley de memoria histórica de Zapatero] we vote against alone and if necessary now we will do it again. “At that time, the Socialist Government carried out its project with the support of IU-ICV, CiU, PNV, BNG, Chunta and Coalición Canaria. The Republicans aligned themselves with the PP at no. At the top of the party in Madrid they already warn the PSOE that “does not strain“That they accuse them of voting this time on the side of the popular and Vox. Because their position, they argue, is the same as always, and in fact the one who leads the conversations is the same interlocutor of yesteryear, the today exporter in the lower house Joan Tardà.

The Socialists will seek to convince ERC, even though they are aware of the difficulties. And regarding the comparison with what happened in 2007, in Moncloa they point out that then the independentistas could reject the project “because they knew it would be approved”, and now arithmetic is more adverse for the goverment. But in the PSOE they also know that this could be the opportunity for ERC to slap the Executive without risk of falling. For the moment, it remains a lot of processing ahead, without there being a final deadline. The times can be lengthened in the Cortes as long as the Government needs and formal negotiations with the groups have not yet begun.


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