News Marlaska ceases the Secretary of State for Security and...

Marlaska ceases the Secretary of State for Security and the director of the Civil Guard | Spain


Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Minister of the Interior, this Tuesday at La Moncloa. On video, the visit of Pablo Iglesias to his office and appointments in Interior. Photo: ULY MARTIN

The Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has carried out on Tuesday an important remodeling of the dome of his apartment, in which he will do without his until now number two and the head of the Civil Guard. Interior sources have confirmed that the minister has decided to do without the Secretary of State for Security, Ana Botella, and the general director of the armed institute, Felix Azon. He has also ceased the Department's Director of Communication, Mar Hedo. For the time being Francisco Pardo, general director of the Police continues in their positions; Ángel Luis Ortiz, General Secretary of Penitentiary Institutions, and the Under Secretary of Interior, Isabel Goicoechea. The new number two Interior will be another judge, Rafael Pérez, who was currently his chief of staff. To replace Azón, the minister shuffles that of a woman, the first to occupy this position.

When he arrived at the ministry, in June 2018, Marlaska agreed several of his appointments with the direction of the PSOE. The rush with which that Executive was made after the success of the motion of censure against Rajoy made him then only choose part of his team, while others were proposed from Ferraz. Among these last names was precisely that of Ana Botella, who went on to play the key position in the coordination between the National Police and the Civil Guard. Deputy of the PSOE in the opposition, is considered next to the secretary of organization of the party and Minister of Transportation, José Luis Ábalos. According to sources of the department in his cessation they have counted the problems arisen in the application of the agreement of equalization of policemen and civil guards with the Mossos, or the errors in the police deployment to face the serious disturbances registered in Catalonia after knowing the sentence of the you process.

His relief and that of the other two senior officials are largely interpreted by the minister's claim to make, now, a more tailor-made team. The replacement at the head of the Civil Guard of Felix Azón, magistrate and exvocal of the General Council of the Judiciary (like Marlaska), was the most predictable. He came to the position of the hand of Margarita Robles, with which he agreed in the government of the judges. Robles, as Minister of Defense, has also shared the powers of the Civil Guard with that of the Interior. As sources close to the minister had pointed out for days, Azón's departure has been caused by his management, which has been answered from within the Institute itself, both by the Civil Guard associations and by the commanders, who reproached him that the National Police He would have gained weight in Interior at his expense.

For now, Marlaska keeps another PSOE man, Francisco Pardo, who arrived at the General Directorate of the Police after having held positions of responsibility with his political mentor, José Bono, both in the Government of Castilla-La Mancha – where he was chief of staff, counselor of the Presidency and president of the Cortes until 2011 – as in the Ministry of Defense, in which he held the Secretary of State between 2004 and 2007. Another position held is that of Angel Luis Ortiz as maximum responsible for prisons. Ortiz is a magistrate and former prison surveillance judge who Marlaska signed in 2018 when he was the director of the legal cabinet of the then mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena.

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