Spain's judiciary council: blocked for 1000 days

Spain's General Council of the judiciary, which is responsible for appointing important judicial posts, has been in office for almost three years on a caretaker basis because it has been impossible to reach a three-fifths majority in parliament since its 5-year mandate expired. The leader of the conservative opposition People's Party (PP), Pablo Casado, has now announced that the left-wing government should give up all hope of reaching an agreement - much to the annoyance of the national press.

Open/close all quotes (ES) /

Conservatives clinging to power

It's not hard to guess why PP leader Pablo Casado is so clearly rejecting a compromise, comments editor-in-chief Ignacio Escolar in

“The constitution is clear and does not allow for different interpretations. The mandate of the General Council of the Judiciary ends after five years. No more than five. After that it must be renewed by a three-fifths majority in the Congress and the Senate. Whenever the left loses elections this is always done without problems. But when the PP loses and has to give up power, it never works out. ... It's been almost three years since the mandate of the current General Council, which was elected in 2013 when the PP had 186 deputies, expired. Now it has only 90, which is why the conservatives are refusing to renew it.”

ABC (ES) /

Denial on both sides

ABC does not see the blame solely on one side, also because the current system was conceived by a Socialist government in 1985:

“The PP is refusing to negotiate at all as long as Pedro Sánchez doesn't implement the EU recommendation that a large part of the members be elected by the judges themselves. ... The logical step now would be to return to a system in which the judges directly appoint their representatives automatically. But the Socialists are refusing to do this with the weak argument - partly ideological, partly classist - that the judiciary is inherently conservative and therefore the left could never control the judicial power. So the negotiations remain deadlocked, with no prospect of a solution. Violating the constitution and further discrediting the system.”