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With the same pomp as every year and the antiquated tradition of such meetings, the opening of the judicial year was celebrated this Monday with the presence of the highest authorities of the Spanish state, starting with king Felipe VI and a whole parade of members of the judiciary whose mandate has been expired for two years and yet they continue there, as is the case of the president of both the General Council of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court, Carlos Lesmes, several members of the Constitutional Court and the Ombudsman, Francisco Fernández Marugán. If one day an inventory is made of the blockage to which the political parties are submitting Spanish judicial bodies for their own interests, and the dossier reaches Europe, there will be those who understand, from Brussels to Geneva, passing through Berlin and London, the reason for the politicization of justice in Spain.

The two main parties, PP and PSOE, have, since the beginning of Spain's transition to democracy, controlled the appointments to the key positions and distributed them, and both have remained reluctant to compromise at all on this matter. It is now up to the PP, which is politically in opposition but maintains tight control of the judiciary, converted into another organ of power of the Executive and the Legislature. Even at the moment of truth, we have allowed it to be seen as normal that they fight to place their own appointments, when, deep down, it is a complete anomaly. It's also true that one hears them speak and in many cases the differences between conservatives and progressives are only related to the fact that they are affiliated with different judicial associations.

For the Spanish state's attorney general, Dolores Delgado, appointed by the PSOE, to conclude in the 2019 annual report that the trial of the Catalan political prisoners in the Supreme Court was exemplary and a sign of institutional normality and application of the legal order, is something that a prosecutor appointed by a PP government could equally subscribe to. For it to be true would be another thing. And for Europe to be going in the opposite direction to that of the Supreme Court every time it judicially studies a case affecting members of the Catalan government in exile must be the result of pure chance or coincidence.

But well, the easy response is to stay firmly within the existing narrative, endorse a sentence which Europe will amend when the time comes, and stand firm, disregarding what the justice systems of other countries decide. It is also easier to talk about the independence trial than about the king emeritus Juan Carlos I, exiled in the United Arab Emirates and about whom we no longer hear any news. The media silence will make us forget that he fled because of the corruption cases that were pursuing him and that Swiss justice is investigating him. Well, Spanish as well, although we are told almost nothing about that. And so what? And so: how are they ever going to release their control of the judicial agenda?

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