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Mónica Quintela is one of the authors of the proposal to modify the law on metadata, presented by the PSD. With the door open to change, the MP believes that the PS cannot “escape too much” from the Social Democrats’ proposal and understands that the government is guilty of not having legislated in time. Mónica Quintela also clarifies the declaration on the salaries of civil servants, which caused controversy during a debate in Parliament.
In an interview with the Observer, in the program “Sofá do Parliament”, the Social Democrat also accuses António Costa and the Socialists of actively “preventing” the case of Ukrainian refugees in Setúbal from “unraveling”. “The PS and the government are erecting a barrier, in an abuse of the absolute majority, preventing a question of relevant national interest from being truly controlled and political responsibilities being determined,” he said.
In conclusion, Quintela defends the controversy in which he was involved, having said, in Parliament, that if, at the end of José Sócrates’ cycle, “not everyone has received their salary, one month, two months , they learned, there was a bit of pressure, people learned and the PS learned”. “I felt deeply wronged. Having seen the decontextualization, I regret it,” he admits.
[Ouça aqui a entrevista à deputada Mónica Quintela, no Sofá do Parlamento]
Mónica Quintela, of the PSD, on the case of Setúbal. “The PS abuses the majority”
The PSD quickly introduced an amendment to the Metadata Law. Was it a hasty proposal as envisaged by the PS or is it an amendment likely to respond to rules deemed unconstitutional?
This was obviously not a hasty proposal, because we would not be rushing to legislate on an issue of this importance. It’s the whole system of criminal investigation that is at stake and it’s not compatible with amateurism and political maneuvering, as the parliamentary leader of the PS has come to accuse the PSD. It is the result of an in-depth study of the judgment delivered by the Constitutional Court, which follows the three judgments delivered by the Court of Justice of the European Union. It is a question of purifying what has been declared unconstitutional and seeking to safeguard what has been called into question by the Constitutional Court.
But wouldn’t it be more prudent for the PSD to wait for the conclusions of the working group created by the Government?
First, it was even said if he would be unsympathetic to the initiative of the public prosecutor. We knew that the nullity argument would have the result it had. Legally, there was no maneuver on the part of the Constitutional Court to decide otherwise. From a political point of view, it did not seem to us that the Constitutional would back down. As for the working group of the Minister of Justice, it is said that it exists, I do not know who is part of it and promises results for June. What is at stake are several ongoing investigations and there is an urgent need to ensure social peace, legal security and the tranquility of the community itself. This is without prejudice to the fact that we are open to improving the PSD initiative with the contributions of each of this working group during the specialization. We recognize that there can be improvements and we are not closed to that.
But do you think that the PS will join this proposal or will it want to present its own proposal and ignore that of the PSD?
You can undemocratically ignore it. The PS has an absolute majority and when the project goes to the vote, the PS can, denying the national interest, vote against this initiative and then present one which, in legal terms, cannot be very far from what has was presented by the PSD. What is pointed out by the Constitutional Court and which we seek to purge is the question of the prohibition of the transfer of data outside the European Union, it is the duration of data retention, the notification to the persons concerned and also the issue of Law 32/2008 being what I call a broad-spectrum antibiotic: it covers all people and all data, violating the principle of proportionality. Knowing the elements pointed out as unconstitutional, the solution will have to go through that. It does not seem to me how the PS can make a clean sweep of our initiative. That doesn’t seem smart or coherent to me.
Do you believe that the 12-week deadline provides an answer to the problem or are there better ways, such as the German case which points to two different deadlines?
The Constitutional Court did not say what it meant in this case, did not give any clues. It seems to us that 12 weeks, three months protect the private interest of the life of every citizen. I have heard people say that in the case of a kidnapping, for example, we no longer have access to the data. He can. From the moment someone disappears, the PC acts so that the data is preserved. In this regard, we are even more in the context of cybercrime and economic and financial crime and not crime against people. But without prejudice to being able to look at other examples, such as that of Germany. We don’t do stand-ups. This is what seemed reasonable to us to balance the conflicting interests at stake. What matters is that the law can be certain and sure to protect all