"Stupor" over the CNI crisis in the allied intelligence services

The dismissal of Paz Esteban as general director of the CNI in payment to the independence movement, and the decision to make public at a press conference that the mobile terminals of the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez; the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, and the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, to which must be added the attempt suffered by the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, has caused "stupor" in the allied intelligence services, according to sources of the maximum solvency consulted by ABC.

"Stupor" over the CNI crisis in the allied intelligence services

The dismissal of Paz Esteban as general director of the CNI in payment to the independence movement, and the decision to make public at a press conference that the mobile terminals of the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez; the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, and the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, to which must be added the attempt suffered by the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, has caused "stupor" in the allied intelligence services, according to sources of the maximum solvency consulted by ABC.

Paz Esteban had privileged relations with the intelligence services of the allied countries that he has forged throughout his 40 years in the House where, it must be remembered, he held different responsibilities in the field of Foreign Intelligence.

In her years at the head of the CNI, the former director has strengthened these contacts in such a way that the center is considered by her colleagues as one of the most reliable. This has resulted in the fluid exchange of highly sensitive information that has served to ward off different threats, particularly in the field of jihadist terrorism, but also to have highly reliable data on scenarios as hot as Ukraine.

"This type of relationship is very delicate, and putting the CNI at the center of the controversy, as the government has done, does not help maintain confidence," sources from the intelligence services maintain. "If in addition, for free, security vulnerabilities are recognized in nothing less than the communications of high-ranking State officials, misgivings are greater," they add. “And if all this leads to the dismissal of one of the people with whom that affinity exists, with the almost certainty that it has occurred as part of a political maneuver by the Government to stay in power, the destruction is more important. », they conclude, to ask themselves: «Does anyone believe that the allied services are not going to analyze all this when it comes to sharing sensitive information with Spain again?».

Other sources go further: "What happened is serious for the friendly intelligence services, but the hostile ones have also taken note and will make decisions based on it." The general feeling is that the Government has not known how to gauge the consequences of its actions, which will not be noticed immediately – the work being done to prepare for the NATO Summit will not suffer – but it will in the medium and long term. term. For this reason, Esperanza Casteleiro's first challenge at the head of the CNI will be to reassure the House internally, but also to regain the trust of our international partners.

Sources from the Police and the Civil Guard who have regular contact with the intelligence service also show their perplexity at the Government's steps in a matter as sensitive as this. “It was not the time, nor has it been explained well,” they say, adding that what remains of this entire crisis is that “the Executive has preferred to expose the CNI in order to stay in power. And furthermore, as he has done on other occasions, he has had no scruples in sacrificing a servant of the State».

They also agree that in the face of the NATO Summit, in which Spain will deploy the largest security device in recent decades, the change will not be noticed, but they recall that "the CNI needs stability and traumatic changes like the one that has been produced affects the operational work. Its members need to feel that they have the confidence and support of the government they serve, and what has happened these days does not exactly send that message.


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