The Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, announced this Sunday the opening of an “internal control” of the CNI and the “immediate constitution” of the Official Secrets Commission of Congress to “clarify” the allegations of espionage, measures that the Catalan Government sees “insufficient”.
After a week of tensions between governments as a result of the denunciation of espionage on more than 60 pro-independence leaders through the Pegasus cyber-espionage program, the Minister of the Catalan Presidency, Laura Vilagrà, has received Bolaños at the Palau de la Generalitat, to try redirect the situation.
The meeting, which has lasted for just over two hours, has taken place in a cold climate, with gestures from the Catalan government that showed its discomfort at what Vilagrà has described as an “espionage scandal”. Bolaños attended the meeting with the aim of conveying to the Generalitat the Government’s “unequivocal will” to “work to clarify the facts” denounced, “reaffirm the commitment to the rule of law” and reiterate its commitment to dialogue , for which he has put four initiatives on the table. To begin with, he has announced the “opening of an internal control of the CNI, at the request of this same body, to analyze the existing measures and their application in this case.”
Secondly, it has guaranteed the “full disposition” of the CNI to “facilitate and collaborate in the actions” that the Ombudsman will initiate to also analyze the espionage complaints. Bolaño also explained that the Government has already initiated contacts with the parliamentary groups to “urge them to set up the Official Secrets Commission of Congress as soon as possible”, with the participation of all political forces “without exception”, so that in this under the director of the CNI, Paz Esteban López, “report this matter and can provide information and documentation.”
Finally, the minister has assured the “full collaboration of the Government with the justice system” and its “disposition to declassify documentation to clarify the facts”. The Government, he has said, “understands the concern and concern” of the people who have reported having been spied on and, therefore, is committed to promoting these four “mechanisms.”
But what for Bolaños has been a “cordial, sincere and correct” meeting, for Vilagrà has turned out to be a meeting that “has not gone well”, because he has not obtained the “responses” he expected. “We cannot be satisfied with the explanations. They are completely insufficient, vague, vague and with uncertain results. Such a serious case requires clarity, honesty and the assumption of responsibility by those who have spied on us,” he stressed.
The Catalan Executive now wants to know “who ordered the wiretapping” and “who was aware of this massive espionage”, in addition to clarifying “what has been done with the information obtained”, obtaining guarantees that this situation “will not occur again in a future” and obtain the “resignations of those responsible”. “If the Government does not move, there will be serious consequences”, warned Vilagrà, who has insisted that “a scandal of this magnitude cannot be managed cosmetically”. For Vilagrà, this Sunday’s meeting “does not serve to normalize relations” or to guarantee ERC’s “parliamentary support” for the Government in Parliament: “If this was the intention, they have not succeeded. Trust is broken. We want concrete results”, he underlined. If the Government of Pedro Sánchez does not take steps in this direction, “the legislature will be very difficult”, he has sentenced.
Before the next vote in Congress to validate the Government’s anti-crisis plan in the face of the war in Ukraine, the Minister of the Presidency has appealed to the ERC and the rest of the groups to “differentiate the plans” and to bear in mind that this royal decree “is very good for citizens and means improving people’s lives”.