Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

The Spanish Congress takes the path of reforming the Law on Official Secrets

  • Most of the parties that allowed the current Spanish Government to form have accepted the proposal presented by the PNV for the third time in the Spanish Congress, but there are doubts about the position that the PSOE will take from now on, because on other occasions the socialists have not taken further steps to change the law.
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28 February 2024 - 09:27
Last updated: 17:52

The Law on Official Secrets of Spain dates from 1968, elaborated by the Franco regime. Through it, the documents of the attempted coup d ' état of 23 February 1981, as well as those relating to the massacre of Vitoria workers of 3 March 1976, the offensive of the San Fermín police of 1978 and the disappearances of Naparra, Mikel Zabraise and Pertur, are kept hidden.

A proposal presented by the PNV may imply a modification of this law, for which it has been approved in the Spanish Congress, with the support of various parties, most of which allowed the investiture of Pedro Sáchez. The PSOE has also voted in favour, but there are great doubts about what it will do from now on. Because on other occasions when such proposals have been made, it has not taken too much steps to push through the change of law.

The PNV first submitted its proposal to amend the Official Secrets Act in 2016, then in 2020 it did the same, but it has never made progress because the Socialists have blocked the proposal.

On the other hand, two years ago, the Minister of Presidency of the Government of Spain, Félix Bolaños, initiated in Congress a process to push forward the Classified Information Act, to replace the 1968 law and investigate the Pegasus case, which was also left out by the general elections.

The proposal now presented in Madrid by nationalist Mikel Legarda limits to a maximum of 25 years the possibility of concealing some documents when they are classified or classified as secret, although this period may be extended for another ten years: "[The proposal for change] is reintroduced so that the government is not tempted to let this matter die," said the PNV member.

The PSOE explained that it is not "easy" to maintain the balance "between information that should be classified for reasons of national security and defence and the right to information and transparency of citizens". But he has promised to work in this legislature to make a new regulation a reality.

The PSOE, Sumar and its parliamentary partners support the proposed amendment of the law: Esquerra Republicana, Podemos, PNV, BNG, Junts and EH Bildu. Jon Iñarrituren, a member of the Abertzale coalition, states that "everything is said" about this Francoist law: "It is dark, Francoist, offers no guarantees, denies citizens the right to information, is not transparent and allows impunity."

For EH Bildu, the blockade comes because the modification of the Official Secrets Act affects the "myth of peaceful and exemplary transition." That is why it calls for a report to be put in place as soon as possible so that it may be an 'approachable' law for other countries.



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