Pegasus is a runaway horse. The dismissal of the director of the CNI, Paz Esteban, not only fails to dissipate the political storm unleashed by the espionage scandal, but also the storm worsens over Pedro Sánchez. The controversy that threatens the course of the legislature yesterday persecuted the Government throughout the day in Congress, without any sign of abating.
The head of the Executive began by justifying the dismissal of the head of the secret service, given the attacks with which the PP received him in the control session. "It is evident that there has been a clear failure in the security of the Government's communications," Sánchez alleged as the cause of the dismissal, given the espionage of unknown origin accredited by the CNI itself on its mobile phone and by the Ministers of Defense and Interior. And he defended his decision to make public and transfer these criminal acts to the National High Court.
Sánchez went on the counterattack, before the PP offensive. "With this government, neither public funds, nor the State security forces and bodies, nor the intelligence services are going to be used to cover up criminal acts or to persecute political opponents outside the law," he warned. And it went to the direct clash with the PP, at the gates of the elections in Andalusia. Alberto Núñez Feijóo immediately picked up the gauntlet of the partisan struggle, to which the deputy general secretary of the PSOE, Adriana Lastra, then replied, in a new escalation of tension.
The problem is that all the right-wing parties attribute Paz Esteban's dismissal to the government's need to maintain the ERC's parliamentary support, as a new "cession" after the pardons of imprisoned procés leaders. And the problem, too, is that the entire independence movement continues to demand explanations and purge political responsibilities, apart from the espionage suffered by the Government, which affected Aragonès and the rest of the independence leaders and activists.
Cuca Gamarra (PP), Edmundo Bal (Citizens) or Macarena Olona (Vox) cried out to heaven before the new "blackmail" that Sánchez assumes in his opinion to cling to the Moncloa chair, with Paz Esteban as a "scapegoat" sacrificed in the main altar of independence. But, at the same time, Gabriel Rufián (ERC) denounced the "toxic patriotism" of the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, and held her responsible, "by action or omission", for the "legal espionage" to which the independentistas were subjected. And Aragonès himself warned that the crisis is not resolved, far from it, by the dismissal of the former director of the CNI.
In the afternoon, the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, barely managed to explain the Government's regulatory plan for the current year, as was his intention in the appearance before the Constitutional Commission of Congress. All the spokespersons, to the right and left, and even from United We Can, demanded explanations from him in the face of "one of the biggest scandals of democracy", as Jaume Asens (UP) described it. “The storm is far from subsiding”, warned Mertxe Aizpurua (EH Bildu), although ERC was not present in this session.
Bolaños guaranteed that the CNI always acts in accordance with the law, that the Government is the first interested in clarifying the entire Pegasus case, and rejected "very serious accusations based on conjecture" about alleged illicit acts by Morocco or Israel. He also took the opportunity to defend the road map in Catalonia, after the PP's management of the conflict that he branded as "absolute calamity". “This government always works in accordance with the law. We don't know how to do it any other way”, he settled.