The Popular Party, and above all Ciudadanos, seem to have an affair with Defense Minister Margarita Robles. While doubts are slipping, in the case of the PP, about the information given by the Government regarding political espionage with pegasusand is questioned “clearly and vehemently” by those of Inés Arrimadas, the speech softens, and a lot, with the head of the CNI.
All the political groups, with more or less impetus, have made it clear that the information that the Government has given up to now is not enough and that there are more doubts than certainties about the ‘Pegasus case’. Minister Margarita Robles will attend Congress this Wednesday to appear at the Defense Commission, and will have an exceptional opportunity to give more explanations to Parliament about the cases of political espionage of which both Robles herself and the Prime Minister have also been victims. That yes, the head of the Defense portfolio will go through the commission, at her own request, to report on another very different topic: the approval of the Strategic Compass of the European Union and its effects on the projection of the Armed forces in international missions. Whether or not he talks about espionage will be his decision.
The truth is that since the massive political espionage of pro-independence leaders was uncovered two weeks ago, Margarita Robles has been in the crosshairs of the usual partners of the Government, and also of United We Can. The icing on the cake was the control session last Wednesday in which the Minister of Defense had an intervention that was read as an attempt to justify espionage. “What does a state have to do when someone declares independence? Robles said. The president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonesasked for his resignation.
That same day, the head of Defense also assured that she hoped “that everything comes out in the commission, they can see the documentation and maybe those who give lessons will have to shut up.” Some statements that have taken on a different meaning this Monday, after Moncloa made public that the phones of Pedro Sánchez and Margarita Robles were also attacked by Pegasus in 2021. Did the Government know a week ago that two members of the Executive had been spied on? The Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, maintains that he did not and defends that they were aware of it this weekend.
Which generates another no less uncomfortable question: How can it be that the State security services take a year to detect that the mobile phone of the President of the Government has been hacked?. “We can be clear that security protocols must be reinforced in the terminals of members of the Government,” Bolaños acknowledged in an interview on Cadena SER.
The main body responsible for national security at this level is the National Intelligence Center (CNI), which reports to the Ministry of Defense led by Margarita Robles.
Citizens ask to “publicly support” Robles
In any of the scenarios, it does not seem like the best political moment for the minister, despite the fact that she appears confident in public. And while the coalition partners ask Robles for his head, two unusual defenders have emerged for a member of the Pedro Sánchez government: PP and Ciudadanos. Those of Arrimadas have even presented a non-law proposition in which they ask to give explicit support (“publicly endorse”) Margarita Robles for her “correct words” and in the face of the “harassment” and “demolition” to which, according to Ciudadanos, she is subjected.
“Only the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, has been the voice of the
Government that has answered with the firmness and forcefulness that can be expected from the representatives of the State”. “Her words have been the only coherent ones”. This is how Ciudadanos refers to the Minister of Defense in the initiative that he presented to the table of Congress on last Friday. Deputies of the orange party, in conversations with Public, they show off the defense they are making of Robles. “Are you watching how we defend it?”
With Robles, against the independentistas
The Popular Party is not so explicit but it also protects the minister. The popular ones point to Pedro Sánchez and Felix Bolanos for what they describe as a “ceremony of confusion”, and United We Can for attacking the institutions. But, asked this Tuesday after the usual Board of Spokespersons in Congress, the general secretary of the PP, Cuca Gamarra, avoided pointing to Defense as responsible for a possible failure in the national security system. “The Prime Minister is the head of security and what we expect are explanations from him,” settled Gamarra. Silence on Margarita Robles.
What’s more, the PP spokesperson in Congress will be in the Defense commission and will be able to ask the minister. “We will only ask her for information within the framework of what she can answer and we will not make that a circumstance of advantage to wear down the government,” said Cuca Gamarra. “We know perfectly well those issues on which the Minister of Defense cannot make a statement.”
The PP, which on more than one occasion has called for the resignation of ministers from United We Can, also supports Robles in the face of resignation requests. “If this is a maneuver to put on a platter political heads to the independentists in order to stay in power for one more week, we have a government that does not deserve a country like Spain,” said Gamarra. The popular support Robles.