Pedro Sanchez and Pablo Iglesias agreed to reform the Citizen Security Law, known as the gag law, “as soon as possible”. That commitment was sealed at the end of 2019 and this Tuesday, more than three years later, will be when it is revealed as impossible. Unless there is a last-minute agreement, something that seems very complex, ERC and EH Bildu will not support this Tuesday the reform of the norm that the Government of Mariano Rajoy in 2015. The Basque and Catalan separatists will knock down the initiative in commission after not having reached an agreement with the PSOE on the prohibition of rubber balls as riot control material, the penalties for lack of respect and disobedience to authority and, finally, , due to the hot returns of migrants at the border.
“It doesn’t look good“Assured a source from EH Bildu this Monday afternoon, just 20 hours after the Interior Commission of the Congress of Deputies will debate and vote on the opinion of the organic law proposal that has been negotiating for more than three years and that was going to undo the more aggressive aspects of the gag law. Right, are those”nuclear and more harmful elements“those who, in the opinion of the aberzale formation, are not repealed and, therefore, will not support the reform. And in ERC the attitude is the same. “We will not participate in any makeup“, asserts a Republican source before noting that “no one should be surprised” by his vote.
In the Interior Commission, where there is a representation of the groups in the chamber, the reform of the norm as much as with the support of PSOE (13 votes), United We Can (4) and GNP (1); 18 ‘yeses’ in total. Against, PP (9), vox (5), cs (1), together (1) and UPN (1); 17 rejections. The ‘no’ of ERC or Bildu (both have one vote) would cause a tie and, therefore, the initiative would fail. Socialist sources involved in the negotiation claim their “excessive generosity” and the “efforts” they have made to seek understanding. However, in the PSOE they practically give up this opportunity to reform the text.
Negotiations, more intense in the last year and a half, have been carried out “even with a dictionary of synonyms”, explains a source from the PSOE, to try to satisfy all parties in the drafting of the reform. Both PSOE and Unidas Podemos claim that dozens of agreements have been reached on issues of absolute importance, such as the right to demonstrate, identification times at the police station, the recording of police actions or the reduction of fines. “All the advances that have been made will remain in borage water because ERC insists on rubber balls”, criticized the same socialist source.
In the Catalan formation they confirm that this point is “sacred”. The Republicans intended to introduce into the text a direct reference to the prohibition or limitation of rubber balls as riot control material. The Socialists explain that their proposal, agreed with the purples and the PNV, is to include the development of specific protocols on the use of riot control material in order to use the least harmful means. In addition, they proposed including an additional provision in which the elaboration of a report from the Executive on these instruments. “We have stretched the gum as much as we could”, they emphasize in the PSOE.
These proposals have not convinced either ERC or Bildu for not making direct mention of rubber bullets. The Catalan republicans allege that the Parliament already prohibited the use of the balls in 2014, but the socialists allege that this is not true and that the Mossos “by law are authorized” to use them. The truth is that the Parliament approved in 2013 with the support of CiU, CKD and cs a resolution establishing “the withdrawal of the rubber balls, which must be replaced gradually, so that on April 30, 2014 its total ban is effective“. However, this initiative is not binding.
This is not the only reason for disagreement. Both formations claim to lower the penalties for disrespect to agentsas well as for disobedience. The PSOE alleges that, in the first case, has “objectified as much as possible” the causes, looking for an “intermediate point” and that, on the other hand, the seriousness of some of the offenses of disobedience have been reduced.