Borràs case

MP Francesc de Dalmases scolded 'FAQS' journalist over Speaker Borràs interview

JxCat vice-president, who denies having "intimidated" anyone, took the worker to a room and shouted abuse at her after the interview

3 min
Councilor Borràs entering the Chamber of Parliament with Francesc de Dalmases (JxCat).

BarcelonaJxCat MP and vice-president Francesc de Dalmases rebuked a FAQS journalist on July 9th after the programme interviewed Catalan Speaker Laura Borràs, Nació Digital and reported and witnesses have confirmed to ARA. According to these sources, Dalmases grabbed the journalist by the wrist and took her to a room where guests usually wait and shouted at her, scolding her over the questions asked on the set about the current court case looking into Borràs's alleged splitting of contracts during her time at the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes (ILC). Another FAQS worker followed them when she saw the tension, but they closed the door in her face and she was unable to get in. Inside, in addition to Dalmases and the journalist, was Speaker Borràs, her chief of staff, Salvador Esteve; and another member of her team, Pep Elias.

According to the aforementioned media and confirmed by witnesses, the shouts were heard outside the room, with accusations of lack of professionalism made and foul language used. Several people outside the room heard blows against the room's furniture and walls, where the people involved spent around ten minutes. According to one of the people who works in the programme, the tone of the discussion was not "normal" but "violent" and they came to fear for the situation in which their colleague found herself. So much so, that even one of the producers left the set to see what was going on. The worker who had the door closed in her face went to seek help from the programme directors, but when they arrived at the scene the tension had already dissipated and both Borràs and De Dalmases and his collaborators left the room with the journalist.

In spite of the fact that sources in the direction of FAQS confirm this account of events, Dalmases himself reacted by denying he had "insulted or intimidated anyone." "It was a brief conversation and from a journalistic perspective I raised professional discrepancies", he defends, and adds a fragment of an intervention by the programme director, Pere Mas, on RAC1 where he downplayed the events. Shortly after, however, Mas also responded on Twitter that he chose to "downplay the incident" because the person concerned did not want to report it and he respected her decision. Mas added the information published "was true". "Because I am being used to distort the facts, I will add that many people heard the incident and that the shouts reached the set," he said.

The first reactions against the leader of JxCat after the publication of the news have not been long in coming. ERC leader Raquel Sans has stated that "as a journalist, as an MP" she is "very concerned" about the news. "There are behaviours that are intolerable. Always, always, [we must give] maximum support to these professionals. I hope that all this is clarified," she concluded. En Comú MP Susana Segovia tweeted that the episode "is absolutely inadmissible" and has already advanced that her group will inquire about the events in the next Catalan Media Corportation (CCMA) committee meeting, to clarify what happened and ask what measures they plan to take. "And, if it is the case, we will demand resignations," she added

In fact, the president of the CCMA, Rosa Romà, has already asked Tv3 for a report to "elucidate in the shortest delay", as reported by ACN. Outside the political sphere, the Ramon Barnils group of journalists, of which De Dalmases is a member, has also reacted. In a statement on Twitter they announced that "the actions described are far removed from the Group's principles" and that they will open an "internal investigation procedure". The Association of Journalists also waded in: "Coercion and aggressions against journalists must stop".