The Catalan Executive approved yesterday the item of 10 million euros that will be used – as it was announced days ago – to endorse the exalted positions of the Generalitat investigated by the Court of Accounts and who allegedly embezzled public money in the foreign promotion of the you process independentista. The operation consists of mobilizing money from the relaxation of the deficit target that the Government approved to reduce the impact of the pandemic in the autonomous communities. The Generalitat denies that specific resources are being used against the pandemic and claims its margin to promote with that margin that the central Executive gave it “a plan to improve public policies”, in which it registers the aid to those investigated.
There are eight days left for the 34 investigated by the Court of Auditors to deposit the joint guarantee of 5.4 million that this body has imposed on them, and the Generalitat yesterday moved a file to endow the fund that it announced a week ago. This is launched with the transfer of 10 million to the Catalan Institute of Finance, which will be in charge of processing the applications. The guarantee must actually be given by a bank, although the ICF counters it.
That system has already generated great controversy both in Congress and in Parliament and PP, Ciudadanos and Vox will bring it to justice (the Pedro Sánchez Government is studying it). The Generalitat insists that, in the event that any of the guaranteed ones are convicted – and that all national and international recourse instances have been exhausted, it stresses – there are mechanisms to recover all the money, in addition to interest and management expenses.
The Government breathed yesterday when the leader of the PSC, Salvador Illa, assured in an interview with RAC-1 that his jurists, from the outset, believed that the decree law was adjusted to the law. But the calm did not last long and the controversy recommenced when, in the press conference after the weekly meeting of the Government, it was reported that the money came from item DD10, “Extraordinary funds”. The problem is that this same item appears in various official publications of the Generalitat itself, such as the Monthly Summary of the budget execution, as “Extraordinary Covid-19 Funds”.
Although the Government agreement that gave rise to the fund last January does not make any reference to the pandemic, in the presentation of the same at a press conference the spokesperson for the Generalitat did speak of resources for the fight against the effects of the covid . Both the Department of Economy and the presidency of the Generalitat denied yesterday emphatically that funds from Europe were used.
From both offices, however, they do accept that the 1.8 billion that nourish the extraordinary fund come from the relaxation of the deficit of the autonomous communities approved by the central government last October. The measure released resources corresponding to 1.1% of GDP. The Generalitat understands that it has room for maneuver to “execute urgent and unavoidable expenses”. Under that idea, it includes a program for “improving public policies.” And it is this that finances the guarantee fund, which it considers key to “shield” public servants in cases of patrimonial liability.
The opposition doubts that the margin is so large and recalls that the relaxation of the deficit is a measure that sought to alleviate the effects of the pandemic. They therefore believe that the guarantee fund is paid with extraordinary money for the covid.