“I miss the Margaret Oaks that was the scourge of the sewers”. “Where is that progressive judge?” These are some of the phrases that the current Minister of Defense has had to listen to in recent days in the framework of the pegasus case. The first sentence was pronounced by the deputy of EH Bildu, Jon Iñarritu. The second, the PNV spokesman, Aitor Esteban. Robles has become one of the main political protagonists after learning of the espionage suffered by various pro-independence leaders, including the current president of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragones. The minister has defended at all times the actions of the National Intelligence Center (CNI) and its actions within the legal framework. But her role is being questioned from different fronts.
Mentions of Robles’ professional past have to do with his origins in the judiciary. He was born in León in 1956, although at the age of 12 he moved with his family to Barcelona, where he graduated in Law. According to his official resume, he entered the judicial career in the 27th promotion of judges and prosecutors with number one in it. She held positions of judge and magistrate in cities such as Balaguer, Sant Feliú de Llobregat or Bilbao. And she agreed to Provincial Court of Barcelona in 1981, being the first woman to reach a collegiate body in Spain. In this organization she was president between 1991 and 1993.
From that year on, he began a brief and first foray into political life, when she was appointed Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice (1993-1994) and Secretary of State for the Interior in the Ministry of Justice and the Interior (1994-1996). She ruled then Philip Gonzalez and the minister of the matter, double at that time, was Juan Antonio Belloch.
During those years merits are attributed to him in the fight against corruption within the State, such as the persecution of Luis Roldán and against the GAL case. “The only way to fight against any type of crime is from legality. I have no doubts neither theoretically nor practically. I can state this without qualification: in the fight against ETA there is no other framework than legality”, stated in an interview with The country in October 1995. The minister has always closed ranks with former President González and his responsibility in State terrorism.
During the 1990s, merits were attributed to him in the fight against corruption within the State, such as the persecution of Luis Roldán and against the GAL case.
Robles was then opposed to a hypothetical granting of pardon to former police officers Jose Amedo and Michel Dominguez, sentenced for their relationship with the terrorist plot of the GAL. “I am never going to pay any criminal. Amedo and Domínguez were sentenced by a court, and I will not be the one to pay some people I do not know why. I do not know what was done before. But here it is not going to be pay anyone who does not have a contract and who is not within the legal framework to be paid, which I do not think was that of those two gentlemen,” he also said in the aforementioned interview.
In 1996, already out of the Government, he testified in court as a witness in the case Lasa-Zabala, confirming that the Civil Guard hindered the investigation carried out by the Police. Historic is also his confrontation with Judge Baltasar Garzón. “Margarita Robles attacks Garzón for the situation of Amedo’s freedom”, it titled The country. Both maintain, according to the chronicles, “a manifest enmity”.
And the cares, which according to some information have to do with the fact that Garzón aspired to the position that Robles ended up occupying, continued at the expense of the disqualification of the judge. The current minister described the sentence of the Supreme Court that separated Garzón for the illegal wiretapping of the Gürtel plot as “impeccable”.
Robles, after leaving the Government, spent eight years as a magistrate of the Contentious Administrative Chamber of the National audience. In 2004 she was appointed magistrate of the Contentious Chamber of the Supreme Court. Four years later, she served as a member of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) until 2013.
About Euskadi, Robles also had a leading role in political movements such as Elkarri, a platform for a peaceful and dialogued solution to the Basque conflict. In fact, he gave an interview in 2001 in his publication. Years before, Robles had been betting on “facing political solutions to the ETA conflict.” “It falls into the paradox of criticizing Basque and Catalan nationalism from a pure Spanish nationalism,” said the current minister at the time. Today, her clashes with the Catalan independence movement have been notorious.
Loyal to Sanchez
“It is a very important value for the game that has always been by Sánchez’s side.” These are the words of an important position of the current socialist leadership. And it is that the President of the Government recovered Robles for political life in 2016. He called her so that she would be number two on the lists for Congress. After not winning the elections, she was appointed parliamentary spokesperson, leaving a good example of Sánchez’s confidence in her. Robles gave him back that confidence by staying with the “no is no” in the investiture of Mariano Rajoy. Loyalty paid off later. Once the motion of censure against the leader of the PP in 2018 was completed, he assumed the Defense portfolio, one of the most controversial ever for the PSOE.
From the PSOE they defend that Robles has “a deep sense of state“Something that has also been highlighted in recent days from the right of PP and Cs, who have closed ranks with the minister in the face of criticism suffered by the independence parties. From the socialist ranks, some voices privately recognize that their profile is necessary to attract a more conservative electorate.Precisely those are the most furious criticisms leveled at him from the leftist parties.
Already formed the coalition government between PSOE and United We Can, Robles has been one of the ministers, if not the most, most dialectically combative with her partners. Her confrontations with the Minister of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, Ione Belarra, have been recurring. Many of them took place in the wake of the war in Ukraine. But they already came from afar. “When you are the favorite minister of the powers that want the PP to govern with Vox, perhaps you are hurting your government. Being humble is not being flattered by the media right,” Belarra wrote about her.
The minister especially provoked the anger of the leaders of the ERC and other political forces by dropping that the espionage would be justified. “What does a state have to do when someone declares independence?” Some “unacceptable” statements that increased the already existing tension in the political relations between the PSOE and the independentistas.
This last week an internal conflict has been uncovered with the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños
This last week an internal conflict has been uncovered with the Minister of the Presidency, Felix Bolanos, another of Sánchez’s most trusted people. The responsibility and powers of the president and the ministers regarding the security of mobile phones caused some more or less veiled exchanges, and through the media, between Moncloa and Defense. A few hours later they tried to calm things down. The different strategies had already been glimpsed days before.
It does not seem that, at least for now, there is no chance that Robles will fall as those affected by Pegasus ask for and slide from UP. There is, at least, no evidence of it, according to various socialist sources consulted. They also remember that his phone, like Sánchez’s, has also been spied on. But hers is political responsibility on the CNI, an organization that has recognized, through a court order, spying on people like Aragonès. And the partners of the Government are still waiting for some gesture in this sense.