Misc 09/12/2020

Budó claims that Aragonès has "unilaterally" deferred the file on Bosch

She claims that the executive has not requested any further reports and is confident that this will be resolved next week

2 min
La portaveu, Meritxell Budó, ahir abans de la reunió del Govern.

BarcelonaThe Catalan Government's spokesperson, Meritxell Budó, has claimed this Wednesday that vice-president, Pere Aragonès, has "unilaterally" withdrawn deciding on the file on former head of the department of Foreign Affairs, Alfred Bosch, from the agenda of the meeting of the executive council. Bosch has been accused of not activating the protocol against sexual harassment in the department, in the wake of his former chief of staff's behaviour.

The Department of Digital Policies submitted a proposal for Bosch to be sanctioned last week, but as the ARA has advanced, the decision has finally been postponed due to the "power" that Aragonès has exercised as vice-president and acting president - explained the Budó explained.

There were two contradictory reports on the table. One from the Civil Service, which was finished in August, and which recommends sanctions against Bosch; and another report recently requested by the Government from the Advisory Committee on Public Ethics - a request that was not mandatory and not binding either - which recommends not to sanction Bosch. The Civil Service is controlled by JxCat and the committe has a majority of ERC members. ERC, in fact, also opened an internal investigation into Bosch and its guarantees commission decided to exonerate the former minister - despite the fact that the file has been reopened due to pressure from women within ERC and there is still no verdict.

Budó did not want to go into the content of these two reports because she claims that they are confidential and limited herself to say that the executive has not requested any more. However, given the contradiction between the Civil Service and the Advisory Committee on Public Ethics, the Vice-President intends to ask for "internal" legal advice to decide how to act. The Government's spokesperson, who did not want to say whether there were differences in the Government on this issue or not, said she was "confident" that this matter could be resolved next week.

ARA investigation

In March this newspaper revealed that ERC had forced Bosch to dismiss his former chief of staff, Carles Garcias, for alleged cases of sexual harassment. The then minister did not activate the protocol of the Generalitat against the harassment and even tried to relocate him as general director before dismissing him from his post.

The former minister, while he was still in the post, did open an informal round of interviews with department staff on the issue, when he heard voices that had initially tried to avoid him due to lack of trust and the close relationship he had with his chief of staff. The information even ended up reaching Garcias, who reprimanded at least one of the women denouncing the harassment. On December 4, 2019, in the Lledoners prison, Oriol Junqueras met with Bosch to discuss the dismissal of his right-hand man. To this day, the ex-minister maintains that he did not cover up for Carles Garcias.