“I have no problem proposing Victoria Rosell to the General Council of the Judiciary,” says the Secretary of State for Justice
Secretary of State for JusticeAntonio Julian (Tontxu) Rodriguez (Barakaldo, 1962), former mayor and former regional senator for the PSOE, attended the institutional act last Friday to elevate him to the category of magistrate to the Court of First Instance and Instruction of Puerto del Rosario, in Fuerteventura. He affirms that the PP violates the Constitution in its blockade to renew the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ).
Does the situation of blockade of the General Council of the General Power have a solution, now that the PP puts the reform of the sedition law as justification for the rupture?
It seems to me that it is the twenty-one excuse that the Popular Party makes. The mister feijoo when he took office as a senator he swore the Constitution, then why not comply with it to renew the General Council of the Judiciary, as established by the Constitution? He doesn’t because he doesn’t want to. We continue to reach out, but having seen what has been seen and with this new excuse, I think that the PP does not want there to be a renewal, there is no interest.
Why are you not interested?
Because there are many issues that are still pending in the courts, the PP’s own position… I think now is the time to stop more nonsense and renew the CGPJ. They have been interim for four years and this undoubtedly also affects the blocking of the supreme court, to different rooms such as the Social, to delays in sentences, to the Constitutional… It is time to stop any more subterfuge. We have been saying the same thing for months about the reform of the sedition law, and that is that it must be adapted to European standards. But we have already seen that President Isabel Ayuso called Feijóo and changed her opinion from one day to the next, and the negotiation broke down. It gives the feeling that Feijóo is not the one who makes decisions and that the extremist sector of the PP has doubled his pulse.
The PP accuses the PSOE to pave the way for the escaped ex-president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemontfor an agreed exit to your situation.
That’s still an excuse. It is very symptomatic to see how the same actors who carried Catalonia to a fracture in 2017, five years later they continue to feed off that. I say that the PP, on the one hand, and the most radical independence movement, on the other, are needed to continue with the tension. Coexistence in Catalonia is very different from what it was in 2017 and I think they should explain if they want to go back to those days of 2017 or live as they live in Catalonia today.
One of the agreements reached between the PP and the PSOE was to depoliticize the CGPJ. At that moment, Podemos put on the table the name of the magistrate Victoria Rosell, delegate of the Government against Gender Violence, which the PP rejected. Will they support Rosell if talks are restored or unlock is achieved by other means or is she a handicap?
For me there is no problem. Others or others will have their reasons, I have none. Each parliamentary group appoints the judges after having heard the judges themselves, and proposes a certain number of people to form part of the Council and, therefore, it can be one person like another.
You attended last Friday the institutional act to elevate the Court of First Instance and Instruction of Puerto del Rosario to the category of magistrate. What does it mean for Fuerteventura?
The first thing is that we have complied with a historic claim of Fuerteventura that came from 2009. Without a doubt, it represents an improvement for the officials themselves and for the citizens of the island, because it will allow greater quality and agility to Justice. It will mean an improvement in remuneration of the places of the judicial career, which will have repercussions in a reduction of the mobility of these professionals because they consolidate and stabilize their positions.
The Canary Islands have requested the creation of new judicial units. How many will they create?
Among the 70 judicial units that are created this year, there are five for the Canary Islands: two courts in San Bartolomé de Tirajana, another in Granadilla de Abona, a position as a magistrate in the judicial unit of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and a position in the Court Province of Las Palmas. And now we will see the proposal made by the Canarian Ministry of Justice for 2023.
The Ministry of Justice has a pilot project for municipal justice offices. Are they going to be implanted in the Canary Islands?
We are waiting for the organizational efficiency bill that is in the Spanish Parliament to be approved [una de las tres leyes pilares del Plan Justicia 2030]. We did a pilot test in Albacete and verified that, before, what took two weeks to do, such as a power of attorney for a solicitor, was done in three minutes. We want these municipal judicial offices to extend to all the municipalities of Spain and it will also correspond to the Canary Islands.
What kind of transactions will they do?
Everything that the Civil Registry entails, requests for birth, death, marriage, granting powers of attorney, will be able to be done trials with video calls and not going to court and that, without a doubt, will streamline the process and at the same time reduce the crowding that may occur in the courts and also avoid travel.
How is the Justice 2030 Plan going with which they say they are going to carry out a total reform of Justice?
It is based on three pillars: the organizational and procedural efficiency laws are already in the Cortes Generales and I hope they will be approved at the end of the year and if not at the beginning of next year, and the digital efficiency law will be approved before the spring or summer of next year. With the new technologies and with the efficiency laws there will be a brutal, radical change in the Justice in Spain, and we hope that in the near future it will be a close, agile and fast justice. For this we have 410 million Next Generation funds. We have already given all the autonomous communities 90% in 2022, which the autonomous communities themselves have to execute, and there is 10% left to grant in 2023 because they are funds that last until 2025. And we are doing very well, with two years of advance.
“The Canary Islands are doing very well in the total reform of Justice with European funds”
Are the 25 million that have arrived in the Canary Islands enough for that romp of Justice?
In total there will be almost 30 million. The Counselor of Justice Julius Perez and the vice-counselor Carla Vallejo they are working very well in the Canary Islands, because reforming Justice is not easy. In general, the autonomous communities are doing very well, regardless, and I have to admit, of the political color. They are working in unison and with co-governance. In the Canary Islands there are four star projects that the counselor passed us. It is the modernization of Justice, paper is over, as was said before, and we are going to be able to do everything in a very telematic way, favoring not only the work of Justice professionals but above all of citizens. We want to do a justice aimed at the citizen that favors closeness, agility, organization, transparency…
María Farnés, the new superior prosecutor of the Canary Islands, advocates for more means to investigate money laundering.
I do not have specific data on money laundering in the Canary Islands, but I can assure you that both the staff of the Civil Guard and the staff of the National Police have increased in these years of government with President Sánchez, and if more means have to be put in, they will be more means
Gender and vicarious violence. Citizens agree that Justice is slow and protocols fail. The Equality Minister herself, Irene Montero, says that there must be a feminist Justice.
First I want to remind you that the Canary Islands have the powers of Justice, and secondly the minister Pilar Llop is the first to put a job on the table for all of us, and defends that Justice, understood as a public service for citizens, must be a tool of feminist revolution that is under way, and has much to contribute in achieving equality. It is true that we still have a long way to go for full gender equality in Spain.
The Canary Islands have repeatedly asked that, by law, the communities be co-responsible in the reception of migrant minors who mostly arrive in the Islands, but it is a demand that has remained in the air. Will they promote it?
I believe that the Canary Islands are an example of many things and are also sometimes ahead of the Spanish Government itself, and we are going to work with the Canary Islands to make this a reality.