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The government avoids drawing red lines to negotiate the secrecy law, including the 50-year term

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Robles accepts that negotiations with other parties can change the number of years of classification or “the nature of the problems”.


The government will avoid drawing red lines for parliamentary negotiations on the new Secret Information Act, which will replace the Official Secrets Act 1968, and insists on its demands to add the widest possible consensus it is ready for, even imposed up to 50 years for disclosure of the most confidential documents.

The draft law approved by the Council of Ministers this Monday provides for a maximum period of 65 years during which information can remain secret. In particular, documents classified as top secret have a term of 50 years, which can be extended by a further 15 years; the classified information will be for 40 plus ten renewals; the confidential between seven and ten years and the restricted between four and six years.

These deadlines, in addition to creating the figure of authority responsible for deciding declassifications that fall to the ministry of the presidency, have drawn criticism from across the opposition, starting with United We Can, a government partner.

For this reason, messages have been repeatedly repeated this week by the socialist wing of the executive, recalling that this is only the first step of the law and it is necessary to reach a final text that fulfills most of the political arc, so that he is permanent in the future weather.

“It’s an absolutely necessary law, we had a 1968 text, it was a NATO requirement, and citizens also need to know their own history,” Defense Secretary Margarita Robles said in an interview with Europa Press.

In this sense, Robles rejects any debate about the powers that the law gives to each ministry, insisting that it is important to push forward a text that comes from the Franco regime in order to facilitate knowledge of relevant events in the history of Spain .

She places particular emphasis on the case of the GAL, in whose fight she was directly involved as Home Secretary in the 1990s. Documents like those related to the GAL or to 23-F,” he acknowledges.


For this reason, it does not lock the door to allow debate in Congress to reduce the time it would take for these documents to be released, since under the current wording there would be two decades left to know the information on the GAL. “Therefore, in the parliamentary process, there must be several amendments, which may stem from the number of years or even the nature of certain issues,” he admits.

Robles insists that the text of the law must combine national security with citizens’ right to “know their history”. And he emphasizes that “the most important thing” is that “the greatest possible parliamentary consensus” is achieved. “I am sure that any progress that remains to be made in this preliminary bill will be improved and there will be all sorts of amendments in Parliament that will help to improve it,” she stresses.

However, she says there has still not been any contact with the opposition, nor has she spoken to anyone from the PP to raise the matter, unlike on other defense-related occasions. In any case, she was “sure” that the “People’s Party” “as a state party” would make its contribution like the other parties in order to achieve a text “with a future appeal”.

“What is clear to the government is that it was an absolutely essential, necessary law, that we cannot be with a law of Francoism and we must have a model comparable to that of other countries in the European Union and NATO.” said Trench.


The same message was conveyed this Wednesday by the Secretary of State for Justice, Tontxu Rodríguez, who acknowledged that the declassification deadlines contained in the preliminary draft are those established in the Council of Ministers, but “everything is negotiable” and there is a possibility that the parliamentary hearing she modified.

In any case, he insisted his approval was “absolutely necessary” as it is one of the few pieces of legislation to have survived from the Franco regime and “there are pages of Spanish history that are good for society as a whole to know her. “

Nevertheless, the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, described these deadlines as “reasonable” when presenting the draft after its approval by the Council of Ministers. As he explained, there are countries in Europe that do not set a deadline for the publication of this type of document, such as Denmark, France, Italy or Belgium; while for example in Sweden it is fixed at 70 years and in Germany at 30 years for top secret, secret and confidential.

Additionally, information may alternatively be classified based on specific or foreseeable future events such as the end of a war or the death of a person.

Source europapress.es

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