The clamp on the nose: PSOE and UP swallow with the controversial Arnaldo and the PP launches a candidate incoherent with judicial independence

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Enrique Arnaldo

“With the clip on the nose.” Odón Elorza put the expression in his mouth that runs through many deputies of the PSOE and United We Can. The coalition parliamentarians will support the controversial Enrique Arnaldo, proposed by the Popular Party, for the Constitutional Court despite doubting his suitability, in order not to break the pact reached to renew the constitutional bodies after years of stagnation.

The figure of Arnaldo has caused much discomfort in the bench of the left, due to his ideological positions in favor of the right, his link with FAES and for the dubious episodes known these days about their activities. That is to say, an image that damages, for many, the Constitutional Court itself, the maximum guarantor that the Magna Carta is fulfilled. And, meanwhile, the PP as one who hears it rain.

Arnaldo is one of the names that have to be voted on this Thursday in the Plenary of Congress to renew various constitutional bodies. This group was agreed by the Government and by the Popular Party. The figure of Arnaldo put it on the table Tesoro García Egea (PP), and Génova 13 has not wanted to withdraw it despite the controversies. Either he enters or the constitutional bodies are not renewed.

The vote will take place this Thursday and will be secret. The deputies must write the names of the candidates (four for the Constitutional Court, six for the Court of Accounts and one for the Ombudsman). Although it will not be public, the leadership of PSOE and United We can rely on voting discipline and “responsibility” as groups to carry out the vote (in which their votes are needed together with those of the Popular Party) . In fact, only these three parties voted in favor of the names to be approved in the last Appointments Committee, a step prior to the Plenary. To give the green light, a three-fifths majority (210 deputies) is necessary, something that can only be achieved with the votes of socialists, popular and ‘purple’ (between the three they add up to 244).

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Arnaldo and Batet, in Congress

The Popular Party has imposed this name to be able to carry out this renewal of various organs, being somewhat contradictory within its continuous calls for judicial independence. It involves placing a jurist marked by his links with the popular and who does not represent the profile that a magistrate sitting in the Constitutional Court should theoretically have. And it reinforces that idea that the Popular Party seeks a justice tailored to its measure with names close to its party, compared to what it says. Pablo Casado.

And who is Arnold? What links you with the PP? Why is it not suitable? A first piece of information: administrations controlled by the Popular Party hired Arnaldo’s company for years for a value of 979,000 euros. This is stated in a report from the Tax Agency, revealed by the Chain Ser, what was commissioned by judge José Castro within the Palma Arena case to track activity between 2003 and 2008. 51 of the 75 contracts were minor, which meant that they did not have to go out to public tender. They were contractual relationships with city councils, autonomies and public companies in Madrid, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and Castilla y León. It also did business with AENA and the Ministries of Labor and Environment at the end of José María Aznar’s term.

Arnaldo has collected almost one million euros in contracts with PP administrations and was charged with rigging a contract with Jaume Matas

A name is repeated in his career, that of the former president of the PP of the Balearic Islands Jaume Matas (convicted several times for corruption). The future member of the Constitutional Court was charged with bribing him. It was in piece number five of the Palma Arena case and the judge in the car he spoke of a “fix”. The modus operandi was the following: Matas commissioned Arnaldo to write a report on “institutional limits in electoral campaigns” and that same 2007, when he lost the elections, it was the judge who signed the politician to supposedly open the doors to him in the US with his contacts. The investigation was closed due to the prescription of the facts.

The toad grows larger as more news has become known. The candidate proposed by the PP broke the law to collect from two colleges at the same time, As reported The confidential. He violated the University Law by having been linked to both the Rey Juan Carlos public university and the Cardenal Cisneros private center – a center where Pablo Casado obtained his degree after passing 12 of the 25 subjects in four months.

Arnaldo’s figure becomes even more murky with other information from Cadena Ser: lied in the curriculum sent to the Congress of Deputies prior to your evaluation. In the documentation sent to the Lower House, it said that he had been a lawyer-partner of the Legal and Procedural Studies firm between 2001 and 2017, the date on which he allegedly began to practice law independently. But in 2019 he was in charge of presenting as coordinator for the award of a contract for the legal defense of the Las Rozas City Council (Madrid), also governed by the Popular Party.

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Enrique Arnaldo

Its tentacles with the Popular Party do not stop there. The candidate proposed by the Popular Party had business with the confessed figurehead of Eduardo Zaplana. In 2009, he signed a collaboration agreement with the Uruguayan lawyer Fernando Belhot, specialized in the creation of offshore companies. The objective was to share clients in Spain, Brazil, Panama and Uruguay.

And another name could not be missing in this murky trajectory: Ignacio Gonzalez. In Lezo’s summary there is a conversation intercepted by the Civil Guard between the former president of Madrid and the jurist at the end of 2016. In it they commented on “the new appointments within the Ministry of Justice and the supposed influence that Arnaldo would have in this regard” .

He lied on his resume to Congress and had business with the confessed figurehead of Zaplana

González even tells him: “You will be there moving accordingly.” His response: “I am moving so that the new one to replace this lady -the prosecutor Concepción Madrigal- is good.” To which he adds: “If I had something new, I would call you right away.”

In addition, the lawyer has made it very clear what he thinks in the articles he has published for years in The Impartial, with a very clear obsession that has outraged many socialists: the Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. In fact, he wrote: “The legacy is pathetic in all respects.”

This said about the former president: “It drives him crazy to appoint ministers who get on badly with each other, who debate abruptly, who fight, who trip, who contradict each other in public statements. In this way he feels stronger because he also becomes a referee, a maker and a potter. Let them warm up, let their teams exchange press releases and search, late at night, for related headlines. The president enjoys, laughs loudly. He lets them devour each other, and he reserves for the final moment, the opportune moment: the oracle. dixit and the discussion closes”.

More expressions of the future lawyer of the Constitutional Court: “Perhaps, finally, Rodríguez Zapatero has no choice but to imitate Evo Morales. Parliamentary mathematics (he was never very knowledgeable in science) is unfavorable to him and the three years of legislature that remain will be an ordeal for the Leonese”.

Likewise, it made clear contrary positions against the abortion law and “the recognition” of euthanasia: “some principles or some jurisprudence are violated along the way”. This is vitally important because, for example, the Constitutional Court has yet to decide on the memory presented in its day by the Popular Party against the law of interruption of pregnancy approved by the Zapatero Government. Likewise, it will also have to rule on another appeal of the Popular Party already admitted against that euthanasia law.

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Enrique Arnaldo

This sum of activities, statements and judicial pasts have led to a deep malaise among the deputies of the PSOE and United We Can. Even the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has said that he does not like “some names”, but that his “duty” as a Government is to respect the agreement that was reached in order to renew some constitutional bodies (in the case of the TC since end of 2019).

The leaderships of the PSOE and UP trust that voting discipline. During the Appointments Committee in Congress, the PSOE spokesperson in the body, Odón Elorza, was the hardest against Arnaldo. And it has had its consequences, as he himself revealed in an interview on Cadena Ser. He has been removed from the debate on Thursday and from the socialist group he was told that he had been “very critical.” He has said that he will take “the nose clip”, an expression that has also been used by the leader of the ‘commons’ in Congress and president of the confederal group, Jaume Asens.

In addition to Arnaldo, the name of the controversy, The other candidacy proposed by the Popular Party, Concepción Espejel, Nor does it escape from the shadows, although it has not generated so much commotion. The magistrate was removed from the Gürtel case in the National High Court due to her ties to the Popular Party. Now it will become part of the Constitutional Court.

Those who will not swallow with these two huge toads will be the investiture partners. ERC, Más País or Compromís will not give their votes and are already warning that the ‘purple’ will regret that vote in favor. What the high command of the PSOE and United We can try is to blame the Popular Party and say that the responsibility lies with the proponent. What is clear is that the Constitutional Assembly is going to be renewed, but inside there will be unsuitable members. Criticism from all areas of the left, but an attempt is made to appeal to that sense of a state of renewal. AND Arnold You will shortly be deciding what is constitutional or not in this country.

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