Mas-Colell: "I will survive, these people will not destroy my morale"
Former Minister believes Generalitat and Spanish government have to find a solution for the case of the Court of Auditors
The former Catalan Minister of Economy Andreu Mas-Colell has accepted this Wednesday that he does not have "the bail at the ready" to be able to face the almost €3m that this Tuesday the Court of Auditors requested in the case on the Generalitat's external action. "I cannot say that it has been a surprise", Mas-Colell said in an interview with ARA, and added that he was "psychologically prepared" for the news. In addition to Mas-Colell, Court of Auditors has demanded a bond from 34 former government officials, including Artur Mas, Oriol Junqueras and Carles Puigdemont. In a 504-page report, the Court of Auditors imposed a bail of over €5.4m. Now they have 15 days weeks to settle the debt, a time in which the former Minister has said that "many things can happen". Whatever happens, Mas-Colell is certain he will go on: "I do not want anyone's pity; I will survive, these people will not destroy me morally".
Before even knowing the amount of money he would have to pay, Mas-Colell received the support of the academic sector: a total of 33 Nobel laureates in economics and a further twenty or so renowned wrote 15 days ago that they are "deeply concerned" about the situation of the former Minister. "I want to thank them for their support, for me it counts a lot," said Mas-Colell on Wednesday.
At the same time, the former Minister has criticised the proceedings in which he is immersed: "The lack of due process is mind-boggling," he has criticised, and has explained that, once his defence received the resolution from the Court of Auditors - they had to read 500 pages in three hours - the court told his lawyers that "nothing they said would make any difference". Be that as it may, the bail is a reality that Mas-Colell, for the moment, cannot deal with.
It remains to be seen what role the Generalitat, which is seeking to post the accused's bail, can play. however, Mas-Colell has pointed out that the Spanish government would also have to participate in the search for a solution. "I think the rapprochement between the central government and the Generalitat which is being built toilsomely day by day needs to find a way to neutralise the consequences of the autonomous action of state structures", he stated in reference to the Court of Auditors. To exemplify this, he referred to pardons, which thanks to this "rapprochement neutralised consequences", and added that a "strategy similar to that of the measure of grace" would have to be followed.
Patience for the resolution of the conflict
Despite having affirmed that he does not know the formula to face the cause of the Court of Auditors, Mas-Colell was optimistic about the Spanish government's predisposition and with the new stage of dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan administrations. "There is an important difference between Aznarism an the current government", the ex Minister has explained, who has also defended pardons' merits. It remains to be seen, however, how the table of dialogue, which will meet again in the third week of September in Barcelona, evolves. The former minister has made it clear that "you cannot give up principles", but, at the same time, has warned that you cannot fall "into the trap of thinking that you can only negotiate maximums. However, Mas-Colell concluded that both with the court cases that affect the independence movement and in the negotiations between the State and the Generalitat must be patient: "Let us not get more nervous than necessary, every time we lose our temper they win. This will take time."