There is no secret - and there shouldn't be any surprise either - in the manifestly hostile behaviour of Pedro Sánchez's Spanish government towards the European Parliament committee studying the espionage with Pegasus software against Catalan pro-independence leaders, which is to travel to Madrid next week, on March 20th and 21st. What interest could the Spanish government have in allowing the light to fall on what it has been hiding until now? Well, none, of course. Sánchez and his ministers washed their hands of the problem after the dismissal of the director of the CNI intelligence service, Paz Esteban, one year ago this May, who performed the function of a scapegoat so that the largest espionage case known to have taken place in Europe did not climb further up the ladder, as it would have done if the attention had become more fixed on the defence minister, Margarita Robles, or the head of interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska.
The Spanish establishment banded together, because on this matter the regime of 1978 was in agreement, and the People's Party, Vox and Ciudadanos protected the government. It removed the Pegasus conflict from the political agenda as much as possible and provided the Official Secrets committee of the Congress of Deputies with some of the spied-on names. The rest were ignored, with enough earth being tossed over it to make any attempt to dig up the truth practically impossible. Now, after more than a few attempts, agreement has been attained for the European Parliament committee studying the Pegasus espionage to have, firstly, an extension of the time initially planned for the report, and, secondly, a visit to Madrid.
Since they could not avoid it, they have put up every possible obstacle to make its work as fruitless as possible. First of all, the dates: the committee will arrive on Monday 20th, which is a public holiday in the Community of Madrid, a circumstance that they coincidentally forgot to convey to the official delegation when it began to study the dates of the trip from Brussels. But hey, don't worry, someone whispered to them, since they would have all of Tuesday to hold their meetings and that, of course, they would be available to be summoned. But then the Spanish government pulled a new ace out of its sleeve: what better than timetable Vox's motion of no confidence in Pedro Sánchez for Tuesday 22nd so everyone is kept busy with the Spanish monstrosity of a nonagenarian ex-communist, Ramón Tamames, leading the extreme-right alternative in the Congress of Deputies?
The clear obstruction has reduced the commission's work to ashes, beyond the meetings that it may have with Catalan independentists. That is, the victims of the espionage, because the others will prefer to take part in this grotesque, almost ridiculous image of Tamames asking for the votes that no one will give him. They say from the Spanish executive that it is not even very important to take the matter to the Pegasus committee either, because the issue is more judicial than political. The problem is that we already know that zero progress will be made judicially at the National Audience, because zero compromising information from the Spanish government is available to be able to move forward seriously. Consequently, it can only be political, because it has been under this government that it has occurred and, moreover, there are serious suspicions that the sewers of the state did not take the initiative on their own.
It is not very different from the operating mechanism of Operation Catalonia, for which they only wanted to reach the former Spanish interior minister, Jorge Fernández Díaz - who until now has swallowed with Franciscan patience the instructions received from his superiors - he has not declared anything on the matter to the judges even though, from his own circles, he has been repeatedly asked to do so. Here, in the Pegasus espionage, the dyke has been erected one step lower, because the only dismissal that has occurred is that of the director general of the CNI. If it is left to the Spanish government, or the speaker of Congress, they will consider themselves satisfied if the committee leave the Spanish capital having had a lunch or dinner at Lhardy, one of the restaurants of pure-blooded Madrid, on the Carrera de San Jerónimo, or having tried the fried eggs or a bull's rabo at Casa Lucio. Tamames at the lectern of Congress and the bull's tail on a plate. Madrid, capital of Spain.