Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

The Bunker in the Spanish Judiciary / El Búnker Judicial

by Migeru Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 06:22:25 AM EST

A blog entry on Escolar.net caught my eye today, and I obtained his permission to translate it in full here. The reason I think it is relevant to ET is that kcurie has on several occasions made passing comments about how the Spanish Judiciary has not been purged of its Francoist elements. I thought Escolar's post would be a good excuse for kcurie to expand on that, and to have a discussion about the SPanish right-with political machine. So, I solicited his input, too. This is a strange experiment in multi-authoring an ET diary, which the scoop software doesn't support (at least as configured here on ET) so we did it via writeboard. Kcurie's text is italicised, and escolar's text is in a bilingual parallel columns.

As a general assesment, the left-wing in Spain has two real  enemies, one is the construction/real estate sector (famous and rich in the Madrid financial center), the other is a judicial system full of Franco supporters in all its branches.

Today the main blogger in Spain (Escolar) has let us use his post discussing one of the most worrisome development in the Spanish justice systems I remember. A taste...

..pese a que el PP ya no gobierna, la Justicia aún sigue controlada por jueces que llegaron al sillón durante la presidencia de Aznar. El PP, desde que perdió las elecciones, ha hecho todo lo posible para bloquear la renovación de los órganos de la Justicia, ya que supondría una pérdida de poder que intenta retrasar por todos los medios... Despite the fact that PP does not rule anymore, the Justice is still controlled by judges who got to their present positions during Aznar presidency. The Popular Party, since it lost the elections, has done everything possible to block the renewal of the Justice control organs, since it would mean the loss of a power center that it is trying to delay using all the elements at its disposal.

More below the fold.


First of all, a note about the title of Escolar's piece. During the Spanish Transition to democracy (1975 - 1981), "the Bunker" was the name people gave to the sector of the regime that opposed reforms. It is a widely held opinion that the Bunker's last stand was the 1981 February 23 coup attempt. But the bunker lives on, in the Judiciary.

Escolar.net: El búnker judicial (Febrero 06, 2007)Escolar.net: The judiciary bunker (February 06, 2007)
Es complejo de entender y de explicar, pero así es la Justicia española. Resulta que uno de los jueces del Tribunal Constitucional, Pablo Pérez Tremps, no podrá votar en el decisivo recurso que ha presentado el PP contra el Estatut porque hace unos años la Generalitat de Jordi Pujol le contrató para que hiciese un informe académico sobre autonomías y política exterior. Como el informe llevó su tiempo, a la hora de cobrar ya gobernaba el Tripartito, así que el Tribunal Constitucional decidió anoche que Tremps no es imparcial, que no puede votar sobre si el Estatut es o no inconstitucional porque cobró de sus impulsores.It is complex to understand and to explain, but this is what the Spanish Judiciary is like. It turns out that one of the justices on the Constitutional Court, Pablo Pérez Tremps, will no be able to vote on the decisive appeal that the PP has raised against the [Catalan Autonomy] Statute because years ago the Generalitat [Catalan Regional Government] under Jordi Pujol hired him to draft an academic report on Autonomous Communities and foreign policy. As the report took its time, when the time came to get paid the Tripartite was already in power, so the Constitutional Court decided last night that Tremps is not impartial, that he cannot vote on whether or not the Statute is unconstitutional or not because he was paid by its promoters.
Tremps no puede votar porque no sería imparcial, dice el Constitucional. Pero sí podrán hacerlo sin mayor problema los jueces de la mayoría conservadora, los que deben el puesto al PP. Los doce miembros del Constitucional consiguen el sillón a propuesta del Ejecutivo (dos jueces), del Congreso (cuatro), del Senado (otros cuatro) y del Consejo General del Poder Judicial (dos). Es decir: consiguen el puesto a propuesta de los partidos políticos en función del resultado de las urnas. Y e renuevan un tercio de ellos cada tres años. En el Consejo General del Poder Judicial (CGPJ), que es quien después nombra a los jueces del Tribunal Supremo, el proceso de elección es similar, también supeditado al Congreso y el Senado.Tremps cannot vote because he wouldn't be impartial, says the Constitutional [Court]. But the judges from the conservative majority, the ones who owe their position to the PP, will have no problem voting. The twelve members of the Constitutional [Court] achieve their seats on the proposal of the Executive (two justices), the Congress [of Deputies] (four), the Senate (another four) and the General Council of the Judiciary (two). That is: they get their positions on the proposal of the political parties as a function of election results. And one third of them are renewed every 3 years. In the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), which is the one that later sppoints the Supreme Court justices, the election procedure is similar, also subordinated to the Congress and the Senate.

I have serious problems with this argument, in fact I think it's unsustainable. To suggest that the fact that one was nominated on the proposal of a political party should be grounds for recusing a Justice on cases introduced by the same political party brings down the entire institutional edifice of the Spanish Judiciary. And, regarding the recusation itself, "Cæsar's wife not only has to be honest but appear honest", so Tremps shouldn't be shocked that the PP is recusing him.

Which is not to say that the Judiciary is not politicised and in thrall to the media, and that the judges themselves don't act as henchment of the political parties. But that is another discussion. Or maybe the same discussio, but taking the case of Tremps' recusation as an excuse to discuss the politisation of the Judiciary, and not as the principal object of discussion.

That said, it appears that Tremps was already recused 6 months ago on the same grounds, and that the Constitutional Tribinal rejected the recusation because Tremps' report was "academic in nature". I am wondering why this second recusation wasn't thrown out as res iudicata.

Now, back to Escolar:

Por esa razón, pese a que el PP ya no gobierna, la Justicia aún sigue controlada por jueces que llegaron al sillón durante la presidencia de Aznar. El PP, desde que perdió las elecciones, ha hecho todo lo posible para bloquear la renovación de los órganos de la Justicia, ya que supondría una pérdida de poder que intenta retrasar por todos los medios.Por this reason, despite the PP not being in power any longer, the Judiciary is still controlled by judges who arrived at their seats during Aznas's tenure as Prime Minister. The PP, since it lost the elections, has done everything possible to block the renewal of the [governing] organs of the Judiciary, as that would entail a loss of power that it is trying to delay by any means necessary.
En el CGPJ ganan los conservadores. En el Constitucional, hasta ayer, había empate y ganaban por la mínima -por el voto de calidad de la presidenta- los progresistas. Anoche los conservadores le dieron la vuelta a la tortilla con una artimaña perversa: se convirtieron en mayoría al bloquear a Tremps, que no podía decidir sobre sí mismo ante el recurso del PP. Así se rompió el empate: seis contra cinco. El voto de calidad de la presidenta ya no servía, pues no hubo empate.On the CGPJ conservatives win. In the Constitutional [Court], until yesterday, there was a tie and progressives won by the smallest margin—by the tie-breaking vote of the chairwoman—. Last night the conservatives turned the omelette around by with a perverse trick: they became the majority on the  blocking of Tremps, who could not rule on himself in the face of the PP's motion. Thus was the tie broken: six to five. The tie-breaking vote of the chairwoman was no longer good, as there was no tie.
Con la recusación de Tremps, el recurso de anticonstucionalidad del PP contra el Estatut podría salir adelante y cancelar la reforma, a pesar de que ya ha sido aprobada por los parlamentarios y por los catalanes en referéndum. Curiosamente, muchos de los artículos que el PP considera contrarios a la Constitución aparecen, tal cual, en el Estatuto de Andalucía, el mismo que pactó Javier Arenas con Manuel Chaves.With the recusing of Tremps, the PP's unconstitutionality appeal against the [Catalan Autonomy] Statute could come to fruition and cancel the reform, despite hacing been approved by parlamentarians and by the Catalan people in a referendum. Curiously, many of the articles that the PP considers contrary to the constitution appear, verbatin, in the Statute of Andalusia, the same that was agreed by [PP's] Javier Arenas with [PSOE's Andalusian Regional President] Manuel Chaves.
Pérez Tremps es uno de los dos jueces que llegaron al Constitucional a propuesta del Gobierno de Zapatero. De hecho, hoy muchos diarios aventuran la posibilidad de que Trems renuncie al sillón para que el Gobierno pueda elegir a otro juez y así salvar el Estatut del acoso conservador. En la derecha están ya en escándalo preventivo ante tal movimiento. "Deslegitimaría al Constitucional y pondría en evidencia a un Gobierno para lograr sus fines políticos", escribe El Mundo en su editorial de hoy. Puño de hierro, mandíbula de cristal.Pérez Tremps is one of the two justices that arrived at the Constitutional [court] on the proposal of Zapatero's government. In fact, today many newspapers venture the possivility that Tremps may resign his seat so that the government  can choose another judge and so save the [Catalan Autonomy] Statute from the Conservative hounding. On the right they are already on pre-emptive scandal mode facing such a move. "It would Delegitimise the Constitutional [Court] and it would expose the Government in order to achieve its political goals", El Mundo writes in its editorial  today. Iron fist, glass jaw.

As you may know Spanish political scene has been a little bit, let's say "active", in the last few months. Some observers may say that it was been on steroids during all of Zapatero's tenure. The truth is that most of it was useless noise generated by our own right-wing machinery more or less in line with what the US ultra-right-wing think tanks and power centers did during the Clinton administration. It only made Zapatero stronger.

Unfortunately, the bomb attack of ETA in Barajas airport has changed the dynamics in Spain. Before it, Zapatero had managed to pass all the left-wing social measures you could have dreamed of from a socially liberal perspectives. We have talked here about gay marriage, easy divorce, civil war memories, pro-labor employment reforms, the dependency law, and more relevant: a redistribution of power in the Spanish state via the  reform of the  Catalonia and Andalucia statue establishing new relations between the central state and the different spanish nationalities and communities.

The main difference between US/Uk and Spain has always been that in Spain there are strong left-wing power groups who really beat back because their own centers of power are at stake. Therefore, before the ETA bomb  we expected this government to tackle the two soft spots for the economy (over-heated construction sector and real-estate market, and overdependence on oil for transportation as different ministers had aknowledged) and somehow we expected that they would address these problems in the two following years happily in the background while ETA talks were supposed to take center stage.

But that was then, and this is now. The dynamic is different. I have my particular vision for the reason... it is not so much ETA bombing but the lack of authority the president showed by stating the day before that everything was going smoothly. I may hate authority as much as anyone, but this is not the way how things works here. Parties in Spain can never be democratic, and decission-making is rarely taken using the English concept of consensus. Actually, the ideal consensus behavior for a democratic president has always been of someone knowing more than the rest because "he can listen" and listen and listen.. but then he must show the resolve to do whatever he see fits. This is the spanish game, and few people realize. The spanish system ahs always been: " Iw ill not vote if you do not really have power". So, no matter what happened in the last fight about the power redistribution (which  the new Catalan statute exemplified) Zapatero had all the cards in his hands. Despite constant fearmongering about the doom of the spnaihs left there was no doubt that he only had to shove it to the right-wing and shove it to the independentists...he did it and he showed authority.. and he did it,and of course, everybody love it (without saying ti so of course...). Result, he managed to redistribute power as much as he wanted towards Andalucia with no big stir. He also strengthened the left-wing power in typical nationalistic areas all around the country and left the right-wing PP out in the woods,lost with probably still no change to win an absolute majority in years.

But now, after the bomb, the past ghosts come back. Once thought to be an end history now we have a full attack on the power distribution using a key right-wing resource. The judges. The move has been basically to change an established doctrine for "perceived" incompatibilities just in time to affect a key judge in the Constitutional Court which has to decide the legality of the new Catalan Statue. I should recall here one important point of Escolar, that the right-wing party considers some items of the Catalan statute unconstitutional, while the same articles, stating the same thing, in the Andalucian statute were supported by the PP right-wing party. The reason is that PP has no significant votes in Catalonia, while losing even  the slight support in Andalucia will be the end of PP as a significant national party (a party with no significant representation in Catalonia, Vasque Country and Andalucia is not an Spanish party in any particular meaningful sense of the word, no way to win any election without significant representation in at least one of them).

The movement is also designed to help to consolidate the control of the judicial system as Escolar clearly explains. You may not belief me, but pro-franco lawyers, judges, lawyer firms and prosecutors go around freely, happily (and normally in quite rich clothes) in Spain. There is no other sector so embedded in the past (although some constructors and security firms could join the picture....) They not only follow a very narrow militant take on politics, they also help finance new judges and new structures, the so -called "judges associations"  which pool together judges which have a clear conservative tendency (although they are not so stuck in the past). Some of the members in these associations represent the new neolib unitary right-wing executive vision adapted to Spain.

We are talking about very serious stuff. I hope the ET community would realize how serious is this stuff....it really recalls an old episode of a TV series called "House" about how the Hospital new boss tried to get rid of House using non-moral legal moves playing with which person has the ability to vote in a certain procedure by firing each member of the board which opposed his decition. I guess this means that now we are going to see a really tough fight from an emboldened right.. for power and to convince the moving spanish center that ZP has no authority and the spanish undermobilized left-wing sectors that he is "not that good " so that it is worthy to go and vote for him.

Zapatero will have to fight back. Console yourself meanwhile... in House,  the wingnut radical boss attached to his own pharma interests loses, House wins. Unfortunately this is not a happy ending TV series.

Zapatero and the PSOE are  taking a long time to react to this, and some people are beginning to get restless at the spinelessness of the government and its suporting party. As kuryakin pointed out on Escolar's thread, it is frustrating when it is left to Javier Pérez Royo, a well-respected University Professor of Constitutional law, to say the things that the PSOE should be saying:

El plural: Pérez Royo califica de  "desvergüenza absoluta" la recusación de Pérez Tremps  (06/02/2007)El plural: Pérez Royo dubs an  "absolute shamelessness" the recusation of Pérez Tremps  (06/02/2007)
Señala que uno de los magistrados no cree en la ConstituciónHe indicates that one of the magistrates does not believe in the Constitution
El catedrático de Derecho Constitucional Javier Pérez Royo se ha referido en términos muy duros a la recusación del magistrado del Tribunal Constitucional Pablo Pérez Tremps, a la que ha calificado de "desvergüenza absoluta". Pérez Royo señaló además que en el Tribunal "hay uno de los magistrados que en privado se jacta de que la Constitución no es su norma de referencia ni mucho menos", y acusó a los seis jueces favorables de la recusación de seguir los preceptos editoriales de El Mundo y ABC.The Chair of Constitutional Law [at the University of Sevilla] Javier Pérez Royo as referren in very strong terms to the recusation of the magistrate of the Constitutional Court Pablo Pérez Tremps, which he has dubbed an "absolute shamelessness". Pérez Royo also indicated that on the Court "there is one of the Magistrates who in private boasts that the Constitution is not his reference norm, not even close",and he accused the six judges favourable to the recusation of following the editorial precepts of [the newspapers] El Mundo and ABC.
Pérez Royo afirmó durante la tertulia del programa Hoy por hoy de la cadena SER que esta recusación "ni quiera tenía que haberse presentado" porque el documento por el que se considera que la imparcialidad de Pérez Tremps no está probada no es más que "un trabajo académico", como ya se aclaró hace unos meses, y además se escribió dentro de "una obra colectiva" y "mucho antes de que Pérez Tremps pensara que iba a ser magistrado del Tribunal Constitucional".Pérez Royo stated during the round table of the program Hoy por hoy on the SER radio station that this recusation "should not even have been introduced" because the document which is considered to cast doubts over the impartiality of Pérez Tremps is no more than "an academic work", as it was clarified months ago, and in addition it was included in "a collective work" and "long before Pérez Tremps thought he was going to be a Magistrate on the Constitutional Court".

Update [2007-2-7 16:0:22 by Migeru]: As kcurie mentions in the comments:
El Pais: El fiscal Mariano Fernández Bermejo sustituirá a López Aguilar al frente del Ministerio de Justicia (07/02/2007)El Pais: The prosecutor Mariano Fernández Bermejo will replace López Aguilar at the head of the Ministry of Justice (07/02/2007)
El Gobierno de Aznar apartó a Bermejo de la fiscalía de Madrid en 2003 por no compartir la línea política oficialThe government of Aznar removed Bermejo from the Madrid public prosecution for not sharing the official political line
El presidente del Gobierno, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, ha decidido nombrar al ex fiscal jefe de Madrid, Mariano Fernández Bermejo, nuevo ministro de Justicia, en sustitución de Juan Fernando López Aguilar, que según fuentes consultadas cesará en su cargo en el consejo de ministros del próximo viernes, 9 de febrero. El presidente llegó a la conclusión, según esas fuentes, de que era necesario "dar un mensaje de autoridad" con el nombramiento de una personalidad procedente del ámbito judicial.The Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has decided to appoint the former Madrid head prosecutor, Mariano Fernández Bermejo, as the new minister of Justice, as a replacement for Juan Fernando López Aguilar, who according to sources consulted [by El Pais] will leave his position at the Council of Ministers next Saturday, 9 February. The president reached the conclusion, according to these sources, that it was necessary to "give a message of authority" with the appointment of a personality from the Judiciary.

I think this means that Zapatero has decided to let the PP shenanigans play out in the Constitutional Court as the Catalan Statute is not that important to him. And, as kcurie predicted, a show of authority was in order. This comes after what seems to have been a good session of Government Control in the Congress and Senate, with a spirited intervention by the Minister of Justice.

Display:
I can't wait to be able to tweak SCOOP so collectively authored diaries are easier to pull off.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 07:12:37 PM EST
Do you think it is fair if I hit the rec? It is a great diary :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:19:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:27:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is specially enlightening. It is absolutely true that it seems that PSOE quit fighting back. It is as tough as that...b ut if they do nto fight back people inmedaitely give the reason adn the rigth to other side...

PSOE should not be ashamed of playing tough if they are not on the clear offensive... tough and smart... distribution of roles... and Perez Royo is a great supporter but it needs a good star.. They have to choose one and fast.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:23:33 AM EST
Escolar's comment threads are brimming with frustration.

IMHO the Government should not be hitting back but simply doing the right thing and standing by it. They are being reactive, not proactive, and giving the initiative to the PP (and to ETA). I think the De Juana case is symptomatic, as the Minister of Justice tried to show himself to be "tought on terrorists" instead of defending the application of the law against the right-wing noise machine.

Before the new year, it seemed that the Socialists were handling things quite well, with Zapatero staying above the fray, and having heavyweight ministers (or the Vice-President, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, who is now by far the most popular member of the government) of PSOE spokespeople (be it from the parliamentary group or from the party) engage in polemics. And even then, the VP would studiously avoid appearing unduly combative, though she was firm.

But since the Barajas bombing the PSOE is taking patently absurd positions. Well, I take that back. They handled it pretty well up to and including the parliamentary debate on the peace process on the second week of January, but since then the initiative seems to have shifted to the Right. Or maybe this is just a momentary impression stemming from the absurdity of the "appropriation of the flag", the De Juana saga, and now the Statut. From a broader perspective these are not really such important matters, it's just that people's patience is wearing thin that the PP is allowed to carry on with its circus for almost 3 years now, and also on the right people can't seem to understand why their antics don't damage Zapatero, and so keep upping the ante.

I need to write a diary about 1993/6, the "crime syndicate" and the "Brunete of the media". I have mentioned it repeatedly but now things are getting to a point that a little bit of memory (and, for people here on ET, context) wouldn't be a bad thing.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:58:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I completely agree with your description. Fully.

The key point of the part I wrote is that the reason they are handling this badly i the last few weeks about things that should not be so difficult to control is that the environment in the discussion is different.

This environment in the discussion is not about the right-wing machine but about the desire that PSOE gets the authority back... this sense of authority is very very important in Spain...(spanish note, recall Hernandez Mancha vs F. Gonzalez).. the idea that you have "real" power... This is clearly visible in the absolute anti multinational narrative that you can see in both right and left-wing people..everybody hates that any company has the minimum of influence... if any government is seen as in the hands of some key supporters is over... you just can see that this is the more clear cut topic for any leader... these things are not discussed... Actually , the illegal funding of parties was not seen as such a bad thing because it was described as the parties blackmailing the companies and not the other way around.

I am sure, PSOE would not have these set of problems if Zapatero would have not lost this perception... now he would have to recover.. the question as you say is that they seem to start somehow but not really.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 04:50:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The perception that Zapatero is not in control stems fully from the fact that he said on December 29 after the last Council of Ministers meeting of the year, that "on terrorism we will be better in a year's time than we are now", and on December 30 there was ETA's bomb.

I am afraid ETA and the PP are trying at the national level what they did in the Basque country arouns 1998/9, when the PP and EH relegated the PSE to fourth place by polarizing society and making the centre unappealing.

I don't think they can succeed, but the dynamic is noxious.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 05:01:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the government did hit back today in the weekly "Government Control Session" in the Congress and Senate, and it was not only Zapatero but the VP and the Minister of Justice.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:32:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seen over at escolar [har tip to laura]:

El Pais: La recusación de Pérez Tremps desata una guerra política por el control del Constitucional (07/02/2007)El Pais: The recusation of Pérez Tremps unleashes a political war for the control of the Constitutional [Court] (07/02/2007)
La fractura del Tribunal ConstitucionalThe fracturing of the Constitutional Court
La recusación del magistrado Pablo Pérez Tremps para dirimir los recursos de inconstitucionalidad presentados por el PP, el Defensor del Pueblo y cinco comunidades autónomas contra el nuevo Estatuto catalán ha activado las alarmas en el Ejecutivo de José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.The recusation of the magistrate Pablo Pérez Tremps to decide on the unconstitutionality appeals presented by the PP, the Ombudsman and five autonomous communities, against the new Catalan Statute has triggered the alarms in the Executive of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
......
Fuentes de los magistrados del sector progresista reconocieron que la deliberación fue "muy dura" y la votación "a cara de perro", incluso con rencillas y descalificaciones en el terreno personal. Esas fuentes manifestaron que el jueves "ya se sabía el resultado" y que la votación del lunes pasado fue un mero formalismo, que los perdedores cubrieron "con un sentimiento de pena y de rabia, porque no se puede utilizar las instituciones como se ha hecho", llegando incluso a "zarandearlas y herirlas para descabalgar a un magistrado". En particular, el cambio de voto del magistrado Vicente Conde fue, según un magistrado consultado, "uno de los desengaños más grandes que he tenido".Sources with the magistrates of the progressive sector admitted that the deliberation was "very harsh" and the vote "dog-faced", including personal disqualifications and feuds. These sources stated that on Thursday "the result was known already" and that last Monday's vote was a mere formality, which the losers carried out with "a feeling of sadness and anger, because the institutions cannot be used as they have been", getting to the point of "shaking and wounding them to unseat a magistrate". In particular, the change of vote by the Magistrate Vicente Conde was, according to a Magistrate [El Pais] consulted , "one of the greatest disappointments I have ever had".
......
Sin embargo, las fuentes consultadas temen una segunda línea de ataque que el PP podría dirigir contra la la presidenta del Constitucional si para mediados de junio aún no hay sentencia sobre el Estatuto. Antes del episodio de Pérez Tremps había un "pacto de caballeros" para que hubiera sentencia sobre el Estatuto antes del verano, pero, tras lo sucedido en el seno de la institución, lo más probable es que la situación degenere en una "batalla campal" por el control del tribunal.However, the consulted sources fear a second line of assault that the PP could direct against the Chairwoman of the Constitucional Court if there isn't a decision on the [Catalan] Statute by mid-June. Before Pérez Tremps' episode there was a "gentlemen's agreement" to have a sentence on the Statute before the summer, but, after what happened in the midst of the institution, it is most likely that the situation will degenerate into an "all-out battle" for control of the Court.
The article goes on to describe how another breach of colegiality may lead to the Chair changing hands, and so the conservatives having the tie-breaking vote.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 04:56:38 AM EST
That looks really ...sort of .. dangerous?

If they do pull out this trick.. I really expect an all out war...and I am sure is the chance of Zapatero to get back to a firm position.

Otherwise...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 05:05:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is being suggested (by Escudier, another journalist blogger) that Zapatero should send his Minister of Justice to Canarias [as planned] already and nominate Tremps as his replacement, and then appoint another Justice to the TC.

But the thing is getting really ugly. And this might just be my prejudice, but the Right doesn't mind undermining the institutions of the State for political gain (as they did in 1993/6) because, after all, L'état c'est eux, La calle es suya, and Spain is their ranch (cortijo).

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 05:23:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If they set the frame correctly .. Escudier answer is clearly the solution.

You have to make a lot of noise about the PP movements..a lot of it.. feeling that it is a direct attack against him.. agaisnt the TC institution and against Spain balance at large. Once they retain the right-wing offensive...they move ahead and do the change...It is important the image of the PSOE shoving it to PP.. it is really relevant now...as much as I hate to say it.

Problem is PP can get to know this idea before... PSOE should manage the situation properly then... and it is not easy to set the show straight.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 06:03:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Problem is PP can get to know this idea before... PSOE should manage the situation properly then... and it is not easy to set the show straight.
The thing is, the right wing is also editorialising a couple of steps ahead of the game already, just like the left wing.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 06:06:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great job Mig and kcurie!
I didn't comment because I don't have the knowledge to add to the discussion, but it's very informative. Thank you!
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 09:41:21 AM EST
Ei thanks a lot!!!

You now know much more about Spain judicial system than the average spaniard will ever know :), not that they car.. as I have said they care about the answer to the famous spanish question  "Pero quien manda aqui?".. literally "but who rules here?" for "who is the boss? this is a mess"

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 01:13:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I want to second that.  This has been an extremely interesting and informative diary, and I want to thank both of you for the effort you put into it.

It strikes me that the judiciary is often sort of a "last bastion," whether it be for good (it's the last even remotely independent branch of government in both Zimbabwe and Egypt, for example) or for ill, as in the case you point out in Spain.

As an aside... in the States, you've had several things happening -- (a) the right, having been in power for most of the last 40 years, have really stacked a lot of the federal benches with theoretically conservative judges, but (b) they don't always act as conservatively as they're "supposed" to, and (c) even though the right has really dominated the nominations to federal benches, they still mount this full-on campaign demonizing the federal judiciary as nothing but "activist" judges who thwart the rightwing agenda every chance they get.  It's mindboggling.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:17:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One question, and I won't be surprised if you feel unable to answer it;-
"Why would ETA destroy the govt like this when they stood more chance of getting much that they want than if the right takes over ?"

I guess this is a variation on the "Are ETA simple nihilists wedded to the power associated with waging militaristic war ? Or is there an objective to be won by this act ?"

Truth be told, I've never understood ETA. There doesn't appear to be a "rational" heart or objective to terrorist group like the IRA had. They've more in common with the RAF/Baader meinhof, taking a radical unattainable position in order to create perpetual suicidal nihilistic "war".


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 12:16:03 PM EST
God forbids me to take the word of ETA.. or knowing what they think.

There are some known currents inside.. from the insane to the completely insane to the non-insane but crazy and under control of the insane. But being insane does not mean not knowing what they do. They wanted to debilitate the left-wing government.. and Zapatero in particular.. so the bomb had this goal...

Guessing why they wanted that.. well it depends if you think that ETA really has some goals in mind or not. If they do not have goals, this was just to keep on the fight for the sake of it (money , status, stuff like that)

If they have some goals in mind, then it has to do with the fact that ZP had too much power in its hand... ETA  was in a path of dismantling and not getting anything of what they though they could get (from their point of view).

Take the last paragraph as a wild guess...among other possible wild guesses.. the only good guess is that different currents and generations are very real in ETA each one with its particular insanity.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 01:02:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
El Pais: Otegi propone crear una autonomía con Euskadi y Navarra "dentro del Estado español" (07/02/2007)El Pais: Otegi proposes creating an Autonomous Community with Euskadi and Navarra "within the Spanish state" (07/02/2007)
Batasuna cambia el término autodeterminación por el de "autonomía política" pero no condena la violenciaBatasuna exchanges the term selfdetermination for "political autonomy" but doesn't condemn violence
Una única "autonomía política" que integre al País Vasco y a Navarra "dentro del Estado español" y que tenga "capacidad de decidir" sobre la independencia, como salida al "conflicto político con el Estado español". Así se resume la propuesta que ha presentado esta mañana en San Sebastián el portavoz de la ilegalizada Batasuna, Arnaldo Otegi, para solucionar "el conflicto vasco", en lo que supone un cambio del tradicional discurso de la izquierda abertzale que sigue en todo caso sin condenar la violencia. Esta propuesta no tendría cabida, según Otegi, sin la aprobación de los ciudadanos de estas dos comunidades.A single "political autonomy" integrating the Basque Country and Navarra "within the Spanish state" and which has "the capacity to decide" on independence, as a way out of the "political conflict with the Spanish state". Thus can be summarised the proposal presented this morning in San Sebastián by Arnaldo Otegi, the spokesman of the illegalised Batasuna, in order to solve "the Basque conflict", in a change from the traditional discourse of the abertzale [patriotic] left which continues in any case not condemning violence. This proposal could not be accommodated, according to Otegi, without the approval of the citizens from both [Autonomous] Communities.
......
Con esta propuesta, Batasuna no renuncia al País vasco-francés, por lo que Otegi también ha anunciado una propuesta presentada a Francia para crear "una autonomía" que comprenda a los territorios vascos radicados en Francia. A la unión de Euskadi y Navarra sólo se llegaría, según Otegi, con la aprobación de la mayoría de los ciudadanos tanto de la Comunidad Autónoma Vasca como de la Navarra -a través de referendums separados- para abrir así "una fase de transición" en su camino hacia la autodeterminación.With this proposal, Batasuna doesn't give up on the French Basque Country, hence Otegi has also announced a proposal presented to France to create "an autonomy" comprising the Vasque terrotories in France. To the union of Euskadi and Navarra one would only arrive, according to Otegi, with the approval of a majority of the citizens of the Basque Autonomous Community as well as Navarra—through separate referenda—to open "a transition phase" in their roat to self-determination.
......
Un 'cambio radical' para el GobiernoA 'radical change' for the Government
El Gobierno y el PSOE han valorado positivamente el "cambio radical" de lenguaje experimentado por Batasuna al aceptar la Constitución de 1978 y, "en particular", su disposición transitoria cuarta, que regula la posible fusión de Navarra y la Comunidad Autónoma Vasca (CAV) si así lo deciden los navarros, según han interpretado hoy fuentes del Ejecutivo y la dirección socialista. Aunque siga siendo una formación ilegal, recuerdan todas las fuentes consultadas, es cierto que el cambio es "notable" y puede ser revelador de que la izquierda abertzale está evolucionando hacia posiciones "plenamente" constitucionales. Muy distinta lectura ha hecho el PP, que considera, en palabras de Mariano Rajoy, que es"lo mismo de siempre dicho de otra manera" y "una broma".The Government and the PSOE have valued positively the "radical change" experienced by Batasuna's language in accepting the 1978 constitution and, "in particular", its fourth transitional disposition, regulating the possible merging of Navarra and the Basque autonomous community if the Navarran people so decide, according to the interpretation by sources with the Government and the socialist leadership. Although it remains an illegal formation, as all the consulted sources recall, it is true that the change is "noteworthy" and can be revealing of the abertzale left is evolving towards "wholly" constitutional positions. A very different reading was made by the PP, considering, in the opinion of Mariano Rajoy, that it is "the same old thing said differently" and "a joke".


"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 02:04:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
at this pace... we should start a news report everyday with a new comprehensive diary to explaint he situation here...

now batasuna uses "autonomy" WTF?

This is crazy..
Do they mean it?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 02:29:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's why we need eurotrib.es = es.eurotrib.com

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 02:41:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No te me ejcaqueej, kcurie, mira:

Juan Varela via Escolar.net: El Mundo crea con Recoletos el gran grupo mediático de la derecha. (febrero 07, 2007)

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 02:57:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does that word mean what it looks like it means?
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:06:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which word?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:09:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ejcaqueej

I can't even figure out how to say it.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:18:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Escaquees (< escaquearse)

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:22:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Slope off?  This must be an idiom, right?
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:29:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It means don't shirk your share of the work. Kcurie is letting out his insider knowledge in very small doses ;-) Plus, diarying the coming war between PRISA and the right-wing media machine that is being consolidated as we speak is right up his alley.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 04:29:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks... my Spanish is really bad, and getting worse through lack of use...
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 05:30:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
escaque is a square on a chess board (chess is escacs in Catalan, échecs in French, scacchi in Italian). I have no idea whether there's a connection. Probably not.

This is a Castilian idiom anyway, I suppose a Latin American speaker would guess the meaning from context.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 05:44:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I sort of did get it from context, but I wanted to make sure I understood what I thought I was understanding, if that makes any sense...
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 05:58:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now you can go an update the diary with the name of the new justice minister.
An unapologetic lef-wing prosecutor in Madrid who has fight the real state corruption supportin the right-wing party in Madrid

Go figure... Zapatero really knows who his friends are now.

Right-wing media is going to become crazy...as much as the corrupting clients in madrid.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:31:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Torero! Torero!

LOL

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 04:03:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No me escaqueo.. but batasuna and the right-wing new media is too much for me :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 03:26:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Ferreres, Animus Iocandi, El Periódico de Catalunya

I'm really busy this week, I've to run to BCN.
Cheers.

by amanda2006 on Thu Feb 8th, 2007 at 03:00:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Translation:

How could we not recuse someone who's written 20 law books?

Smartasses needn't apply.

Here one comes to do justice, not literature.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 8th, 2007 at 03:09:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great work, you guys. This is really informative and quite scary. I hope Zapatero will have the character and find the right way to fight this.

But how much do the Spanish really want to go back to that stuffy, repressive Franco ethos? I suppose if it's sold as something really sexy... Ayn Rand meets El Caudillo... I feel sick...

Thanks for all your hard work in this diary.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 05:06:48 PM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries