At 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, after the Council of Ministers, Felix Bolaños and Cuca Gamarra they will be seen in the new building of the Congress. The appointment is the first of the round of contacts with the parliamentary groups that the Minister of the Presidency announced during his appearance on September 9 before their honorable Members. But, in reality, it is not one more, not even the first: it is the key meeting for unravel if there is any real chance of unlocking for the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ).
In that meeting, Gamarra plans to demand from the minister that the PSOE have a gesture a few hours later. At 3:00 p.m. the plenary session of the Congress begins, which must debate and vote on the taking into consideration of the Proposal of the Law to reform the LOPJ and the Public Prosecutor’s Office registered by the Popular Parliamentary Group on October 19, 2020 [consúltelo aquí en PDF]. That is, the legislative text in which the Pablo Casado propose to change the system of election of the 12 judges of the CGPJ.
And if there is any possibility that a new negotiating round will open between popular and socialists for the renewal of constitutional bodies, the PP wants the PSOE to demonstrate its openness to the unlocking. If the Socialist Parliamentary Group does not block the processing of the norm, it will enter the parliamentary circuit and Casado will be able to give orders for the meetings with Bolaños himself to be resumed. Hector Gomez, the new socialist spokesman – and a man close to Bolaños – is the one who has the key.
“Political will is demonstrated by voting”Gamarra warns in statements to this newspaper. That is, the PP wants the PSOE, at least, to abstain from voting and the law is discussed in parliament.
And so, as Casado himself also expressed in conversation with EL ESPAÑOL, “let us negotiate with them any improvement to a legal change that is not only what we demanded from the beginning, but is already required by all judicial associations, the Commission of Venice, the Council of Europe and even the European Commission, which demands that the judges elect the judges“.
Indeed, this same Monday, the four majority associations of Spanish judges met with the Belgian liberal Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice. At the end of their meetings, Reynders publicly asked the major parties (PSOE and PP) to reach an agreement as soon as possible to renew the members of the CGPJ, whose situation of interim and limitation of powers constitutes an “abnormality”.
But above all, the commissioner said that this agreement will have a “clear commitment“on the future reform of the CGPJ with the aim that the judges directly choose at least half of the vowels. A reform that, in any case, “It will take time” since it is necessary to consult widely with all those affected.
Faced with this envelope -perhaps casual, perhaps designed-, the PSOE has known how to react. For this reason, the meeting between Bolaños and Gamarra does not have this single point on the agenda, but the Government has included among the topics of this round of contacts, also, the first temperature taking of the groups for the General Budgets of the Status (PGE) of 2022.
Thus, the Socialists are repeating the play of last year but with new gear. The Minister of the Presidency now plays the role that he played last year Carmen Calvo. So the first vice president wanted lower the ‘price’ of its United We Can partners and parliamentary allies in the negotiation of public accounts this year. And that is why he played to call, in the first place -then-, the representatives of Citizens.
The 10 votes of the Liberals of Ines Arrimadas they constituted a possible alternative majority to the 13 votes of Esquerra Republicana. That sum today is impossible. But then, parliamentary arithmetic had already been rehearsed during the votes of the conclusions of the Commission for Reconstruction that Congress welcomed in mid-2020, after the first wave of the pandemic.
On this occasion, the round of meetings has been delayed by about a month and a half (so it started in August). And also, on this occasion the PGE join the unlocking of the CGPJ. As the Bolaños Ministry itself has announced, the meetings will take place “in order from highest to lowest representativeness in
the low camera”.
And as the minister has already announced that “the government’s position is to maintain the current law,” confirming the exclusive of this newspaper, which reported on September 1 that Moncloa would never accept the proposed reform of the PP law – “absolutely not” -, has designed a meeting plan that will prove him right, as the weeks go by.
The cascade of meetings from highest to lowest, together with the sum of issues for which Bolaños claims “responsibility and a sense of State”, will cause there to be more and more positive meetings for the Executive. Not in vain its most loyal partners are the independentistas, a minority in Congress.
Thus, Moncloa intends to return to the PP the trap of having to position himself before his law only a few hours after Gamarra asks Bolaños for a gesture … and 24 hours after the meetings of the judicial associations with Reynders.
In any case, Moncloa is also preparing a counter offer for the PP spokesperson in Congress, Cuca Gamarra. As Héctor Gómez announced in his interview last Sunday with this newspaper, the Socialists are willing to “put aside the issues related to the Judiciary” and start “talking about the Constitutional Court, or the Ombudsman”, other constitutional bodies that remain blocked -for lack of agreement between PSOE and PP- for years.
But PP sources warn that Gamarra attends the meeting with “skepticism”. To begin with, the minister has not sent him any preparatory documents, so the popular spokesperson arrives empty at the appointment. “And with the history of three years proposing State agreements and pacts that they have rejected. “
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