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Correspondence with Spanish government regarding 2011 economic reforms

David Cabo made this access to documents request to European Central Bank

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From: David Cabo

Dear European Central Bank,

On August 5th 2011, the ECB sent a 'strictly confidential' letter to the Spanish Government encouraging the adoption of certain economic reforms (related to job market flexibility, public finances stability...). The letter was at the time denied to citizens requesting it under access to information regulations. However, the letter has now been published by its recipient, Mr. Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain at the time, in his memoirs [1].

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

* A copy of the letter sent to the Spanish Government on August 5th, 2011.

* A copy of any response by the Spanish Government to that letter. I.e. a copy of all correspondance from the Spanish Government during the second half of 2011.

* Was the ECB consulted by Mr. Zapatero or any of his aidees / publishers before making the decision of publishing the letter? Was the ECB aware of it, and is there an official position about it?

Yours faithfully,

David Cabo

[1]: http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2013...

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European Central Bank

Dear Sir,

The ECB hereby confirms receipt, on 2 December 2013, of your application
for access to documents as outlined in your e-mail.

Please note that access to ECB documents is governed by Decision
ECB/2004/3 (the unofficial consolidated version of this ECB Decision is
available on the<[1]ECB website>). 

Your request has been registered and a reply will be provided to you in
line with this Decision, i.e. by 3 January 2014.

Yours faithfully,

Secretariat Division

European Central Bank

Kaiserstrasse 29

60311 Frankfurt am Main.

[2][email address]

Phone+49 69 1344 0

Fax: +49 69 1344 6170

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European Central Bank


Attachment PA 2013 41 LS PvdH 13 40 reply Request for access to ECB documents.pdf
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Dear Mr Cabo,
 
Please find enclosed the reply from the ECB’s DG Secretariat to your
request for access to ECB documents.

Yours faithfully,

Secretariat Division
European Central Bank
Kaiserstrasse 29
60311 Frankfurt am Main

[email address]

Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6170
 
 

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From: David Cabo

Dear European Central Bank,

Thanks for your response regarding my request for access to the letter from the ECB to the Spanish Government on August 5th, 2011.

You say in your response that "it's of crucial importance for the ECB to [...] have a candid exchange of views with national authorities". I see the need for that as a european citizen, and that's why I'm concerned about the way the letter has been made public, outside of legally approved channels. As a Spanish citizen I'm particulary concerned about the consequences this leak - from the letter recipient no less - will have on future communications between the ECB and the Spanish government.

Your response states that the letters are now in the public domain, but there's no way for a citizen to confirm that the published letters reflect the original exchange in full and with accuracy. A partial and biased leak is worse than silence. Hence, I'd like to ask you to reconsider your position and release the documents in full. (I'll submit a formal confirmatory application if you insist on not disclosing them.)

Also, since you state in your response that "the letters were published without the authorisation of the ECB or the Spanish authorities", and since the existence of a private communication channel is of such high-importance to the well functioning of the European monetary policy (your words), I'd like to know what's your official response to the unauthorized leak by Mr. Zapatero, which may hamper your ability to have "candid exchanges" in the future: ¿are you planning legal actions? ¿have you published an official statement condemning the behaviour of Mr. Zapatero?

Yours faithfully,

David Cabo

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European Central Bank

Dear Mr Cabo,
we appreciate your understanding of the importance of the issue at stake
and the argumentation put forward in our reply. As regards the particular
points you raise in your email of 24 December 2013, we should like to
respond as follows:
First, concerning the ECB’s official response to the unauthorised
publication of the letter addressed to the Spanish authorities in 5 August
2011, we should like to refer you to the ECB President’s remarks (made at
the occasion of the press conference on 5 December 2013 - see
[1]http://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/pressconf...)
that the ECB would refrain from commenting on this issue. However, please
be assured that the ECB will continue to endeavour protecting the
possibility to have candid exchanges with public authorities, if that is
deemed to be most effective for serving the public interest.
Second, as regards your suggestion to reconsider our reply and release the
documents in full or, alternatively, to confirm that the letters released
by Mr Zapatero correspond to those actually sent, we should like to note
that, prior to replying the each application for disclosing ECB documents
the ECB conducts a thorough consideration and assessment of the documents
in question taking into account the exceptions listed in Article 4 of the
ECB Decision ECB/2004/3. In that particular case, our assessment led to a
decision of non-disclosure of the letter addressed to the Spanish
authorities of 5 August 2011. Kindly note that the appropriate procedural
way to have such decision reconsidered would  be to submit a confirmatory
application to the ECB’s Executive Board within 20 working days of
receiving the ECB’s reply, in line with Article 7(2) of Decision
ECB/2004/3.
Yours faithfully,
Secretariat Division
European Central Bank
Kaiserstrasse 29
60311 Frankfurt am Main.
[2][email address]
Phone+49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6170
 
 

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From: David Cabo

Dear European Central Bank,

Given your recent decision to publish the letters sent by the ECB to the Irish government in 2010 regarding the bail-out of its banking system, I hereby resubmit my request, previously denied. I ask you to reconsider your previous denial.

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as
developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which
contain the following information:

* A copy of the letter sent to the Spanish Government on August
5th, 2011.

* A copy of any response by the Spanish Government to that letter.
I.e. a copy of all correspondance from the Spanish Government
during the second half of 2011.

Yours faithfully,

David Cabo

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From: Pam Bartlett Quintanilla

Dear Mr Cabo,
 
The ECB hereby confirms receipt, on 6 November 2014, of your application
for access to documents as outlined in your below e-mail
Please note that access to ECB documents is governed by Decision
ECB/2004/3 (the unofficial consolidated version of this Decision is
available on the<ECB website
<[1]http://www.ecb.europa.eu/ecb/legal/pdf/0...> >).
 
Your request has been registered and a reply will be provided to you in
line with Decision ECB/2004/3, i.e. by 4 December 2014.
 
Yours faithfully,
DG Secretariat
European Central Bank
Kaiserstrasse 29
60311 Frankfurt am Main

[2][email address]
 
 

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From: Secretariat Inbound e-mails

Dear Mr Cabo,
 
According to Decision ECB/2004/3 on access to ECB documents, the ECB shall
provide a reply to your application within 20 working days. However, your
request requires the consultation of third parties (i.e. Spanish
authorities), from which we have not yet received a response. As we expect
this response to be received in the next few days, we kindly ask for your
understanding that our response will be provided to you in the coming
days.
 
Your faithfully,
 
DG-Secretariat
European Central Bank
Sonnemannstrasse 20
60314 Frankfurt
 
[1][email address]
 
 
_____________________________________________

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From: Secretariat Inbound e-mails


Attachment PA 2f2014 2f34 LS 2fPvdH 2f14 2f41 reply to application for access to ECB documents.pdf
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Attachment 2011 08 05 Letter from Mr Trichet and Mr Fernandez Ordonez to Mr JL Rodriguez Zapatero.pdf
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Attachment 2011 08 06 Letter ES Reply from Mr Zapatero to Mr Trichet.pdf
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Dear Mr Cabo,
 
Please find enclosed the reply from the ECB’s DG Secretariat to your below
request for access to ECB documents.

Yours faithfully,

DG Secretariat
European Central Bank
Sonnemannstrasse 20
60314 Frankfurt am Main

[1][email address]
 
 
 

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