Business 17/06/2021

A campaign on Change.org asks the Court of Auditors to withdraw the accusations against Mas-Colell

The petition stresses that it is not a judicial process and that no evidence has been provided against the former Catalan minister

ARA
2 min
The former Minister of Economy Andreu Mas-Colell at an event in February.

More than a thousand people in just a few hours have expressed their support for the ex councillor of Economy Andreu Mas-Colell on Change.org, the world's leading petition platform. In the case of Professor Mas-Colell, they are asking for support in the face of the Spanish Court of Auditors' intention to seize his assets, pension and bank accounts as part of the investigation into the Government's foreign action between 2011 and 2017.

"We believe it is essential that Professor Mas-Colell be granted due process", the petition states, and asks the Court of Auditors to "clearly specify its charges" against the former councillor and "provide evidence of any direct connection to illegal activity". "If no specific charges can be brought and no direct connection can be established, we respectfully request that the charges be dropped", it adds.

The former minister, in statements to ARA, has thanked those providing the support he is receiving for his indictment. "I am impressed and grateful for all the expressions of solidarity received, in general and from my professional community, in particular. But I want to remember that I am only one of the 39 accused", he said. "The uniqueness of my case is that I have three children who live in the U.S.", he added in relation to the campaign they have promoted in the networks seeking the support of prestigious academics. And this is not the first movement of support to the former Catalan Minister of Economy, especially since his son Alex Mas published a thread on Twitter in which he explained the situation which his father is in, which echoed across social media.

Numerous economists and high-level academics from around the world expressed on the social network their surprise at the proceedings against Mas-Colell and their support.

Now the campaign on Change.org explains the situation in which Mas-Colell is in because of a procedure of the Court of Auditors, which is reminded that it is not a judicial body. The petition for support stresses that Mas-Colell is "a recognised and respected economist" who was a professor at Harvard University, editor of Econometrica (a leading economics journal) and Secretary General of the European Research Council.

The petition of support for the platform stresses that the Court of Auditors accuses the Catalan government of having used public funds for the promotion of independence and the referendum of October 1st, 2017, but in the 18,000 pages of the dossier "there is no explanation" of the possible connection of Mas-Colell with these facts. In addition, it is indicated that they have only given the former councillor ten days to present his allegations to these 18,000 pages.

"Any appeal could take years and, in the meantime, the accused will have to present a financial guarantee for the total of any penalty imposed", the petition states, and as this fine could exceed the combined assets of all defendants, "Professor Mas-Colell faces a complete and arbitrary seizure without due process", it explains.

The petition stresses that colleagues, students and co-authors who have worked with Mas-Colell know that "he is a man of great integrity" and dedicated to public service. "Spain was very lucky that an economist of Professor Mas-Colell's ability was willing to dedicate himself to public service", and stresses that this procedure may work against the Spanish economy because "the best and brightest may conclude that they should not dedicate themselves to public service".

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