Government finalises a proposal to give coverage to former senior officials indicted by the Court of Auditors

ERC affirms that "legal" or "economic" assistance is being studied while JxCat wants the Catalan administration to act as guarantor

2 min
Building of the Spanish Court of Auditors, with headquarters in Madrid.

BarcelonaAfter the Court of Auditors rejected the allegations of the accused and set a provisional bail of €5.4m, the Generalitat started work on ways to be able to respond and avoid former officials' assets being seized, as advanced by ARA last Wednesday. After the meeting of party leaders every Monday, the spokeswoman of JxCat, Elsa Artadi, has defended in a press conference that the Government should act as guarantor for the accused and thus "protect" the Generalitat's workers. In turn, the deputy secretary general of Esquerra and also spokeswoman, Marta Vilalta, has replied that the executive is preparing a proposal to address the bail demanded by the Court of Auditors, although she has avoided speaking explicitly of becoming guarantor.

Elsa Artadi this Monday at a press conference.

The spokeswoman for JxCat has considered that those affected by the Court of Auditors are indicted for doing a job that was part of the government's plans between 2011 to 2017, and which were not contested. In Artadi's opinion, the executive has to react to the State's "repression" not only to cover the officials and political officials involved, but also to defend the "legitimacy" of the decisions taken by the Catalan executive so far. In this sense, she has considered that there is time until July 21 to do so and that the formula would have to be approved within the executive council - although she has not specified what it would be.

"It is a political decision" to "defend institutions and workers," Artadi argued. She said that the "efforts" of the independence movement are now focused on finding the formula to respond to the Court of Auditors through the Government - she recalled that this is not a final ruling but a provisional bail - rather than the collection of money through the Catalan Solidarity Fund. "It [the Solidarity Fund] is always active," said Artadi, but has emphasised the more institutional solutions.

On the other hand, spokeswoman for ERC, Marta Vilalta, has avoided speaking explicitly of the Generalitat acting as guarantor to the former senior officials, but has pledged to provide "legal or economic assistance" to all those investigated. ERC sources believe this formula may be ready by tomorrow's executive council meeting.

Marta Vilalta, spokeswoman for ERC, this Monday at the press conference.

Support to those sentenced over the 2014 vote by the Court of Auditors

Another of the topics that the independence movement has on the table is how to respond to the execution of the sentence of the Court of Auditors corresponding to the consultation of November 9, 2014. Last week the Supreme Court rejected the appeal against the sentence of former president Artur Mas and former ministers Joana Ortega and Francesc Homs, which implies the confirmation of the payment by the defendants of €5.8m (almost five million of the original sentence plus interest), since the resolution is already final. Artadi has assured that formulas are being sought to also address this issue, but has not specified how. In fact, she has assured that today there is still a lack of information on how to proceed in this case - the Supreme Court has not yet notified the certification of the final ruling - and that depending on how it progresses, she does not rule out meeting the executive of JxCat this week to respond to the situation.