Spain’s National Audience Court has rescued Civil Guard Colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos, an old acquaintance of the two million Catalans who turned out to vote on Catalonia's independence referendum, on October 1st 2017. It ordered his reinstatement as head of the Civil Guard in Tres Cantos (Madrid). The incompetent minister of Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, who fired him considering he was not trustworthy because of the controversial reports written for the judicial investigation on the Madrid March 8th demonstrations prior to the pandemic, has received an epic reprimand. The Spanish judiciary considered that the reason for the discretionary decision to fire him was unlawful. "Legality cannot be overridden by one’s discretionary powers. On the contrary, discretionary powers must be exercised within legality," states the decree reinstating the colonel to his post.
Coordinator of the October 1st referendum police operation, in which over 1,000 were injured by police charges, De los Cobos is, without any doubt, a true representative of the deep state, and his opponent, in this unequal fight, is a minister discredited both as a politician and a judge. There is a huge difference, however: the former did not tell the truth at the Supreme Court trial on the October 1st events, which sentenced the Catalan political leaders to prison, without any consequences. The latter is a minister whom Pedro Sánchez should have fired long ago, but a politician after all and, as such, a representative of the sovereignty of citizens.
There is, undoubtedly, no clearer example of the real power of the judiciary in Spain than Colonel De los Cobos's triumphant march through Spain’s National Audience Court. The political power gave up the reigns of the state long ago. The speech by Felipe VI on October 3rd 2017 was an irreversible turning point, which put out of the game the leaders of the political parties that alternate in the government of the state. The power of the deep state is much stronger than that of the government. This can be whispered or not said at all, but it does not make it any less true.
There is a real tug of war between the executive and the judiciary powers, and the latter is winning by a wide margin. Attempts to form a new leadership of the General Council of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court have resulted in defeats for the Executive and a permanent standstill due to the opposition of the Popular Party. If Marlaska's incompetence only leads to own goals, only one conclusion is possible: is it really necessary to keep him in office, Mr Sánchez?