"My interior minister is rooting out the so-called patriotic police." These were the words of Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez in parliament today, when he gave support to minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska in the face of the conflict with the country's paramilitary Civil Guard which has blown up in the last week and has been described as an offensive by Spain's right-wing deep state. With regard to an affair that has so far cost three top Civil Guard officers their jobs, the Spanish PM explained that what his interior minister is doing is shaping his own team and dismantling the "badly-named patriotic police" created under Mariano Rajoy's government. He assured that in his government there has not been and will not be any "political intrusion" into the state security forces.
In his reply in Congress to the leader of the opposition right (the PP's Pablo Casado) and the far right (Santiago Abascal of Vox), the prime minister made it clear that "with this government there has not been and will not be any political interference in the bodies and security forces of the state." In this regard, he addressed the PP directly: "Our parties are not the same, fortunately for us and also for democracy." He added: "I can assure you that as long as we govern, there will be no so-called patriotic police, with their own teams and headquarters, dedicated to defending the activities of the PP, including the persecution of political opponents and the covering-up of corruption ”.
"The interior minister who is rooting out these so-called patriotic police is the minister Marlaska," Pedro Sánchez declared. "That's why they're attacking him," he said. The Spanish leader told the the PP that, if they were really concerned about justice, they should unblock the renovation of the General Council of the Judiciary - another battleground between the Spanish state's powers, which both Socialists and PP have sought to control in the past.
Sanchez also repulsed the right's attacks on the International Women's Day rally on March 8th, the subject of a Civil Guard report on its possible role in the spread of coronavirus, which precipitated the current controversy. Feminist marches took place around the world on that day, said Sánchez, from Berlin and Paris to New York and Santiago, Chile. “Was it Angela Merkel or [Spanish epidemiologist] Fernando Simon who was guilty? Is it the fault of Donald Trump or the minister Marlaska? Chilean president Piñera or the Spanish government delegate in Madrid?” he asked rhetorically.
The Socialist leader sent a warning to Casado: "Don't add your votes to those of Santiago Abascal, which would make your party small and the far right big." He denounced the right's "fixation" with feminism. "Why are you, the PP and the far right, the only ones in the world who associate feminism with Covid-19?" he asked.