The Government had made the decision, but needed the pretext. The justification. He found it in the report of the National Cryptologic Center (CCN), attached to the CNI, which confirmed that the breach in State security was not limited to the espionage of the cell phones of Pedro Sánchez and Margarita Robles, but also of the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and a failed attempt on the head of Agriculture, Luis Planas. There were already “errors”, “regrettable facts”, they explain in the Government, as support and argumentation to dismiss the director of the CNI.

The President of the Government is determined to redirect the political relationship with ERC, damaged and deteriorated by the Pegasus case, the espionage of pro-independence leaders by the secret services, including Pere Aragonès, President of Catalonia. Hence, although there were voices in the PSOE who were committed to delaying the decision, Pedro Sánchez wanted to immediately offer the dismissal of Paz Esteban as a gesture to the independentistas, to ERC, to calm his discomfort. Arriving at the meeting that he will hold in the coming days with Aragonès with the dismissal already completed,

The forced departure of the head of the CNI has been carried out against the criteria of the Defense Minister. Robles has defended her actions until the last moment and in the appearance to explain her decision she was unable to clarify the reasons for it. He did not offer sufficient arguments to convince why an official was being dismissed who, in the wiretaps carried out by the CNI on 18 independence leaders, acted “in compliance with the law and under judicial authorization.”

“All the actions carried out by the CNI are always in accordance with the law and with judicial authorization,” Robles defended. From the Government, not everyone shares the vision and states that the espionage on the cell phone of Sánchez and two ministers shows the need to “reinforce the security protocols in the CNI”, because “in the future, interventions cannot be made again in the cell phones of members of the Government. There is even talk that what happened are “unfortunate events” that justify Esteban’s dismissal.

The ‘Pegasus case’ and its management generates “discomfort” in the PSOE

Government sources questioned about what are the “errors” that have been made by the CNI refer to the fact that this has to be ruled by the Justice, since the Government has filed a complaint for espionage. However, Esteban’s departure occurs when the courts have not even ruled. “You already know what the reasons are,” other government sources respond, clearly alluding to the pressure from the independentistas and formations such as ERC.

These contrary views show that the clashes within the Government have not been diluted. That there are still struggles for power quotas. It was evidenced between the Presidency and Defense on who was responsible for the security of Sánchez’s mobile; it was evidenced in the intention of La Moncloa to dump all the responsibilities and the purification of the same in the director of the CNI against the firm protection that Robles has made of it; and it has been evidenced in the designation of Paz Esteban’s successor.

Among the names that appeared to occupy the leadership of the secret services was that of General Miguel Ángel Ballesteros, current Director General of the Department of Security, attached to the Presidency of the Government. His appointment would have meant placing a highly trusted person from the Prime Minister’s team at the head of the intelligence services.

However, finally the person chosen is Esperanza Casteleiro Llamazares, of the highest confidence of Minister Robles, not in vain was director of her cabinet in the ministry and is currently Secretary of State for Defense.

“She is named Margarita, the director of the CNI is named Margarita, she has not been named,” government sources explain. Thus, in the struggle for relief, Defense has prevailed.

“I am delighted that the Secretary of State for Defense is the new director of the CNI because it is time to give a boost in a complicated situation, not only because of the war in Ukraine, but also because of cyberattacks,” said Robles. The fact that it was the Minister of Defense who gave the explanations is interpreted to mean that she has handed herself over to the head of the CNI but that Robles’ departure is not contemplated, as the independentistas continue to demand.

The elections in Andalusia and the meeting with Aragonès were in the background

The movement and the assignment is Paz Esteban. Not Oaks. In the Government they discard it completely. “I have been in government for four years serving my country and I will continue to do so. I feel very proud to be part of Pedro Sánchez’s team. If he and I share something, it is that we are with the citizens, especially with the most vulnerable,” reflected Robles. In La Moncloa they know and assume that she is one of the most valued and most accepted ministers. In addition, her positions counteract the movements or gestures towards independence.

Therefore, Robles did have to give in when he handed over the head of the director of the CNI, but he emerged stronger from his clash with Bolaños.

In any case, what is expected in the Government and in the PSOE is that the Pegasus case can be redirected as soon as possible, a crisis that was initially undervalued in the Executive. The matter causes “discomfort” in the party, expose socialist sources, due to the feeling of giving in to secessionism and, even, the clashes within the Government. The image that is transferred of certain parties using State institutions for “partisan interests” above national interests was worrying.

“I am not going to accept under any circumstances the game that some independence supporters are playing, giving the impression that they are victims, when they have really been the culprits. They are not going to change history,” Emiliano García-Page, president of Castilla-La Mancha, complained on Tuesday. «I am concerned that there are people like Junqueras making fun of this country saying that they spy a lot but that they had not discovered the ballot boxes [of 1-O]. This is a serious country, you don’t have to play with important things.

In Andalusia, for example, they hoped that La Moncloa would dilute the issue as soon as possible, since they feared arriving at the prelude to the elections with the case open and with the nationalists putting the socialists in check, which could further truncate their expectations. . Subtract votes and erode the image. Hence also the rush of La Moncloa to put up a firewall.

In the PSOE they believed that when La Moncloa communicated the espionage to the cell phones of Sánchez and Robles, the blackmail of the secessionists could be deactivated, but the management of the problem has prolonged the concern.

Conforms to The Trust Project criteria

https://www.elmundo.es/espana/2022/05/10/627aad74e4d4d80e178b4578.html

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