Spain is taking so many steps backwards that it is almost like a journey down the time tunnel, back to the "hit parade" and the re-running of the promises of the early 80s, those in which Felipe González played a starring role before he became prime minister in October 1982. As if there were no other numbers that he could play with and speculate on, this Wednesday the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, took to the lecturn and pompously presented what he has called the Plan for Recovery, Transformation and Resilience of the Spanish Economy for the next three years. He said he would mobilize around 72 billion euros - given Spain's state of ruin, this sum will have to be what the country gets from Brussels - and would create 800,000 jobs in three years. If Sánchez wanted his proposal to be born discredited he only had to do one thing: repeat the same promise that González was never able to keep. The former Spanish PM himself acknowledged in 2008 with his words were a beginner's mistake but certainly gave him impetus in that election campaign: “I promised 800,000 jobs in the first legislature and we destroyed 800,000 jobs. I kept quiet forever after that because jobs are created by employers and not the state."
Of course, Pedro Sánchez will scarcely be concerned about that as this Thursday, thanks to the announcement, he will have the headlines of the print newspapers just as he has had many minutes on state television on Wednesday. In addition, linked to this promise, he is to travel to Barcelona on Friday, to the economic symposium organized by the Zona Franca Consortium which Felipe VI will also attend. We will hear him talk about it and it will be a cue for some territorialized promises, while in the street the pro-independence parties, the sovereignist entities and the CDR groups have already announced protest actions against the king's visit. Talking about what will happen in the next three years is always cheaper and demands less commitment than sitting down at a table, something he himself agreed with the ERC party that he would do, to find a solution to the Catalan conflict and dejudicialize politics. Excel sheets and numbers are much more ethereal and less compromising than, say, an amnesty law, let alone a negotiated referendum.
Since on planet Sánchez nothing is done without taking careful account of its electoral consequences, it must be considerably concerning that the National Audience court has decided to elevate a request to the Supreme Court to open a criminal case against deputy prime minister Pablo Iglesias for making a false complaint in the case of former adviser Dina Bouselham for three offences: uncovering and revealing secrets, with an aggravating gender issue; making a false complaint in connection with the theft of his ex-adviser's mobile phone; and alleged damage to computer files. There, in the Supreme Court, there will be a veritable supergroup of judges: from Manuel Marchena, the president of the chamber that judged the Catalan referendum case; Andrés Martínez Arrieta, the president of the court that has disqualified Quim Torra; and Eduardo de Porres, investigating judge in the case against JxCat's Laura Borràs. For the moment, there is no criminal evidence against Iglesias and everything is apparently an exaggeration - to put it mildly - of National Audience judge Manuel García Castellón.
But those two courts, Audience and Supreme, inhabit a world of their own and what the judges end up seeing is not what we mere mortals see. That is why the political prisoners and president Torra are where they are. Iglesias will need to be a little more than just innocent.