The Government promotes the change in the formation of the Official Secrets commission so that they can enter ERC and Bildu.
The president of Citizens, Ines Arrimadas, has stated on his twitter account «Sneaking ERC and Bildu into the Official Secrets with a change in the rule is arbitrary and irresponsible. The secrets of the State cannot be placed in the hands of the enemies of the State. We will say NO, as we did when the PP brought in ERC in this Commission in 2017»
The Reserved Expenses commission, or Official Secrets commission as it is usually called, has been blocked for two years by the veto that the Popular Party imposes on ERC and EH Bildu since it refuses to allow these political formations to participate in it.
Until now, the PP’s veto of these formations has been possible since, in the election system of this body, its members need to be elected three-fifths majority of the camera.
However, the president of Congress, Meritxell Batet, announced on Tuesday a change in the election system of this body so that its members only need to be elected the absolute majority of the House. In this way, Batet’s intention is that this commission can finally be launched and that ERC and EH Bildu are present, the main victims of the espionage revealed a few days ago to dozens of pro-independence leaders between 2017 and 2020.
The presence of the secessionist formations in this commission is important because that body is the only one in Congress that can oversee the work of the CNI, whom the independence movement points out as being responsible for the telephone punctures to a good part of its leadership.
Batet intends to reform a resolution from 2004 in which it was anticipated that all parliamentary groups could have a presence in the commission of reserved expenses, something that, in practice, was not being fulfilled due to the PP’s refusal to allow ERC and EH Bildu participate in it, which has prevented its implementation in this legislature.
The changes were known to come go ahead given the majority of 6 to 3 that PSOE and United We Can have in the first, and those two formations with their nationalist and independentist parliamentary allies, in the second. However, a bitter debate is expected around an issue that generates a lot of suspicion in PP, Vox and Cs.
The PP has been totally against Batet’s movement. “The Official Secrets Commission could be perfectly constituted with the resolution of the year 2004 that governs at the moment,” defended the spokeswoman popular, Cuca Gamarra, which he described as “very sad” that “a party like Bildu is going to be able to request information and is going to be able to interrogate the CNI.” The general secretary of the PP considers it worrying that the party abertzale may “reach information” which, in his opinion, “he should not reach”.
Gamarra considers the situation a new capitulation of a Government that “puts the State back at the service of its investiture partners”a veil that hides “the demands of its partners to be part of the commission” to access “information that is called official secrets and that has a different component.”
What are we talking about?
His real name is Commission for the Control of Credits Allocated to Reserved Expenses -although it is better known as the Official Secrets Commission- and it is the legal forum in which those responsible for the CNI, as well as the Ministries of Defence, Interior and Foreign Affairs, must be accountable for the classified information and the use of the reserved funds that are allocated to the defense and security of the State, the amount of which is set each year in the General Budgets.
What has been going on so far?
This body is currently blocked in its composition by vetoes between parties. In order to hear classified matters, it is necessary to have the authorization of the Plenary of Congress, obtaining the support of three-fifths of the Chamber or, what is the same, 210 votes, in a secret ballot by ballot box. Those elected, one for each group in Congress (generally the spokesperson), automatically become part of the aforementioned commission, which is headed by the president of the Chamber, in this case Meritxell Batet.
The current scenario makes it practically impossible for those 210 votes to be achieved because it requires mutual support between the parliamentary groups. Thus, for the independentists of ERC, Junts (as spokesperson for the Plural Group), EH Bildu and even the CUP (representing the Mixed Group) to be represented in the commission, it is necessary that they obtain votes from deputies of the PP, Vox and Citizens , some of whom have already dropped their support.
Thus, the Socialists, who have already advanced their intention to lower the three-fifths majority required to elect the members, have finally put it into practice this Tuesday to thus circumvent the PP vetoes against Bildu and that all the political parties with representation in Congress can access the conclusions of said internal report on ‘Catalangate’ and the declassification of confidential information to provide it to the courts.
The sessions of the Commission are secret and its members are bound by law not to divulge the information obtained. Members can access the documentation classified as secret or reserved, either the originals or copies, but only to examine it or take notes, never to make copies.
Although the maneuver aims to satisfy those who threatened governability, the government’s partners, including United We CanThey squeeze and insist that changing the rules of the secrets commission is not enough. This noon, the purple formation, ERC, EH Bildu, Junts, PDECat, CUP, Más País, BNG and Compromís have issued a statement asking the PSOE that allows “the creation of an investigation commission that advances in the clarification of the espionage case that has been discussed in recent days, that is accountable to the citizens and the Cuts in a transparent way and with responsibility in the face of the seriousness of what has been known up to now».
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Official secrets, open the door of the chicken coop for the fox.
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