Monday, January 24

Aragonès desists for now endorsing Mas, Puigdemont and Junqueras before the TdC, which set them 5.4 million bail




To their fate. That is, without public endorsement. At least for now. The Catalan Government has not found any private bank that wants to secure the 5.4 million euros that 34 former high-ranking officials of the Generalitat, including former regional presidents Artur Mas and Carles Puigdemont, as well as Oriol Junqueras and Andreu Mas-Colell, They have to deposit this Wednesday at the latest in the Court of Auditors, as possible accountants for the illegal spending of the ‘procés’ abroad between 2011 and 2017. But it will not do so through the Catalan Institute of Finance (ICF), body of the Generalitat that has already transferred the 10 million euros and that, on paper, guarantees the operation.

Jaume Giró, Minister of Economy and Finance, announced this Tuesday, after the weekly meeting of the Catalan Executive Council, that, after seeing the screen operation created by the Catalan Government frustrated for now, the not find private banks That they mediate between the public finances and those involved in the Court of Accounts, gave the order for the ICF not to guarantee the bonds of the former high-ranking regional officials. «I have decided not to submit any of the ICF professionals to carry out an operation, which if we take into account the antecedents that have been lived in this country lately, it would surely cause anguish, concern and fear, both to them and to their families, “said the regional councilor, despite the fact that the decree-law approved on July 6 allows the ICF to act as guarantor temporarily until a private entity wants to participate in the operation.

“Fear” and the press

«To this day, the first financial entities that we have contacted, both banks and credit unions, all with a significant business in Catalonia, they have not considered it appropriate to accept our offer to formalize the guarantee of this operation, “said Giró, who defined the overall management of the Catalan Government as something merely” technical “, and that, from his point of view,” has no financial risk, no risk legal or commercial risk ”.

In this sense, he said, he is not aware that this refusal of the financial entities to which the Generalitat went – whose names he did not want to reveal – is the result of pressure from the Bank of Spain, for example, as he was asked during the press conference . Nor does he have any evidence of political pressure. However, he warned that “Fear is sometimes underestimated, but it is among us.” And he did point out to the press, when he pointed out on several occasions that: “I don’t know the reasons (for the banks’ refusal). But there has been very little time and a lot of (media) noise, which has not helped ».

In any case, Giró defended that the Government is doing the right thing and both he and the rest of the regional councilors will not rest “until finding the solution to protect public workers and their presumption of innocence,” for which he added: “We will persist in the various avenues open.”

Meanwhile, the decree-law that creates the Complementary Risk Fund (FCR) must be validated by the Parliament of Catalonia. The Government maintains its intention to do so. But this procedure is awaiting the ruling of the Council of Statutory Guarantees (CGE), once the PSC, Cs and the PP went to this statutory institution to assess (in a non-binding opinion) legality, in substance and form, of the normative text itself approved on July 6.

The validation, however, will not be a problem for Pere Aragonès, president of the Generalitat, and Giró himself, since the CUP advanced that it will vote in favor of the decree-law, regardless of what the CGE thinks. Neither has the PSC, despite presenting a challenge to the CGE, has decided its vote against the decree-law when it reaches the Catalan Parliament, which could be after July 29, the date that the CGE has as a limit to issue its opinion. about this issue.

Without managing entity

In any case, the Government is not only having problems with private banks or financial entities to mediate between the Generalitat and the Court of Accounts. Giró reported that the entity that manages the 10 million euros of public money – already transferred to the ICF – that will be in charge of all the guarantee procedures, for this case that affects 34 former senior officials and others for the future, still not created and therefore members unknown who will be part of it and who will decide whether or not to support those who request to benefit from the money from the public fund.

Faced with this situation and after the refusal of the Court of Accounts to extend the date to obtain the guarantees that ends this Wednesday, the president of Junts, Jordi Sànchez, sent a message to the members of his party requesting urgent economic collaboration in 48 hours to avoid the seizures of assets to the 34 former high-ranking officials of the Generalitat to whom the constitutional body demands a solidarity bond of 5.4 million euros.

The 5.4 million euros were set by this court in the case investigating the foreign action of the ‘procés’ of 1-O between 2011 and 2017. This case is parallel to the one investigated by the same constitutional body on undue spending by the illegal referendum of 1-O (4.1 million euros) and later than the one already prosecuted related with the 9-N (4.9 million euros), and that also affects Mas, among others.

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