“We accept the conditions of the PSOE against the offensive but we will not give up our consent”
Podemos continues to redouble the pressure against its government partner in the negotiation for the ‘only yes is yes’ law. While the Socialists threaten to carry out a bill to reform the text alone, the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, has reinforced her presence in the media, with interviews or events practically every day of the week, to make her position clear. : you can tweak the rule but not enter the heart of the law, the consent. This is what she has repeated this Sunday in an act organized ad hoc to support the argumentative framework in the negotiation with the PSOE, which is subject, as they defend, to pressure from the right. “Consent is not touched,” she has warned.
Irene Montero acknowledges that there is a “strong discrepancy” with the PSOE on the ‘yes is yes’ law but trusts the agreement
Montero has outlined on the stage of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, in Madrid, an exhaustive argument about the points that make this law, he has said, “well done”. “Nobody has been able to make a proposal that is not going back to the previous model, no penal reform is going to avoid these decisions,” stressed the minister, who has nevertheless acknowledged that they are “willing” to accept the conditions “that the partner majority needs”, yes, with the red line to which they do not intend to give in: consent. “There is only one thing on which we are not going to give in, because it is not our heritage, neither as a ministry nor as a Government, the right that feminists have obtained in the streets: consent is not touched”, she launched.
After a week of negotiations, the Justice and Equality ministries are still stuck on precisely that point on the reform of the law to which both parts of the Government have agreed. Justice believes that the only way to resolve the revisions of sentences that some judges are applying is to reintroduce the component of violence or intimidation so that the judge can apply harsher sentences. But Equality believes that even if the word consent of the articles is not touched, with this differentiation it returns de facto to the model prior to the law and its heart and its meaning are dismantled. Equality sources maintain that the negotiation remains aground.
“They tell us that the Penal Code is a technical matter. The technique is very simple. In the previous Penal Code there were two criminal types. One if there was violence or intimidation and another in which there was not and it was called abuse. Now the Criminal Code says that everything is aggression and depending on how that aggression is, there are aggravating circumstances. The little technical detail now in the PP proposal is to say: What did you want? Call it aggression and abuse right? ”, He said. “Feminists have not put the body to change a name but to change the entire Penal Code,” he reiterated. “We are not going to swallow a name change,” he has settled.
Montero has referred to the PP’s proposal although, de facto, he was talking about the text that the PSOE has offered them up to now through Justice, which also contemplates establishing that distinction between cases in which there is violence or intimidation and those that No. The line of argument that Podemos maintains is precisely that its government partner wants to reform the law because its legs are shaking in the face of the right-wing offensive, as Minister Belarra said this week. In fact, Montero has supported his defense of the law in that the technical writing was done by his ministry together with that of Justice when Juan Carlos Campo was in charge and a team that he has defined as “spectacular.”
The previous system, the head of Equality has defended, is a system that did not work for women who denounce and neither for those who do not. “In the previous system many of the victims did not find justice but re-victimization and impunity. The vast majority never denounced it because they were afraid of not being believed”, she said before recalling that until now only 8% of women victims of gender violence had denounced it. “We are very concerned about these judicial decisions, but with the previous system, 92% of the aggressors have not set foot in a court or a police station in their lives,” she pointed out.
“This law is much more than a law. It is a process of democratization of society. It is not the law of a minister, of a Government or of a Parliament, it is the law of women. Precisely for this reason the reaction it has is of this caliber, because obviously there are those who do not want changes ”, she opined.
“Judges apply the laws, they don’t twist them”
On stage and in front of some 300 people, the Minister of Social Rights and Secretary General of Podemos, Ione Belarra, and the Government delegate for Gender-Based Violence, Vicky Rosell, spoke. Sitting in the front row were also the main members of the party leadership. The Equality adviser Isa Serra, the spokesperson for United We Can in Congress, Pablo Echenique, or the Secretary of State for Equality, Ángela Rodríguez. Some leaders of Izquierda Unida were also present at the event.
The party called this act during the week, which was not planned, as a way of tightening the pulse of its coalition partner. Since Monday, when Pedro Sánchez gave the order that the law be modified but with the agreement of both parts of the Government, Equality maintains that it has sent Justice up to six proposals to increase the penalties but without introducing the differentiation of violence or intimidation outside of the aggravating circumstances, that is, not introducing two different types de facto, as when differentiating between abuse or aggression. As the days went by and the negotiations became entrenched at the same point, Podemos has been reinforcing the message.
“As the weeks go by, it becomes very clear that this issue of reduced sentences was an excuse, an excuse for the PP to return to the model of violence and intimidation. The PP is a party that when it governs savagely cut investment in the fight against gender violence”, charged the Minister of Social Rights at the opening of the event, in a speech in which she did not mention once to his government partner, who has been pressing for a change in the law since last week.
Although he has not named the PSOE, Belarra’s speech reveals a criticism of the concessions to that “media and judicial political right.” The entire debate around the reduction of sentences, the leader of Podemos has insisted, is an “attack” that goes further. “Defending the only yes is yes is defending the right to have the ballot box vote respected, avoiding judicial coups like the one we experienced a few weeks ago [con la suspensión por parte del Tribunal Constitucional de la tramitación parlamentaria de la reforma del Código Penal]”, has said. “This offensive is not only an offensive against sexual freedom but also against the coalition government and the feminist and progressive plurinational majority of those who want to continue ruling without running for office,” Montero later insisted.
For this reason, Belarra has recalled that “in the democratic system the majorities make laws and the judges apply them, they do not twist them”, in the line of argument that his formation has defended on the reductions in sentences that have taken place in the courts since the entry into force of the ‘only yes is yes’ law: that it is not a problem of the wording of the rule but of the application of that text.
Belarra has finally ratified that Podemos “is not going to give up.” “I don’t know if there are many people who know that the easiest thing when you’re here is to give up, give up, get tired and give up,” he began. We are not going to give up, we are going to continue fighting to defend all the feminist and social advances of this Government, with you, hand in hand, together, showing that it can be done”.