Montoro admits that the Generalitat didn’t allocate a single euro to 1 Oct. referendum
The Spanish government has delivered several reports
to the judge of the Court of Instruction no. 13 from Barcelona, Mr. José Antonio Ramírez Sunyer, explaining that the Generalitat did not spend any public money on the referendum of last 1 October, which was declared illegal by the Constitutional Court.
Those reports include, among others, the one of Natàlia Garriga, Director of Services of the Department of Vice-Presidency, Economy and Finance, arrested last 20 September during the Anubis Operation carried out by the Guardia Civil against the organizers of the 1 October referendum.
Last 24 November the Judge requested information about the expenses incurred by the Catalan Executive to carry out the said referendum from the Spanish Government, as the current responsible of the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya) in pursuance of the art. 155 of the Spanish Constitution.
It took the government of Rajoy more than two months to send the first answer
to the Court, since the Spanish Government Representation Office in Catalonia did not forward the request of the judge until a month and a half after having received it.
The Government delivered it to the Secretariat of State for the Territorial Administrations, as shown in the report sent to the judge by the above-mentioned Representation and to which Europa Press had access. The said Secretariat of State then forwarded it to the Spanish Ministries of Finance, Interior and to the Presidency of the Government.
More than two months to answer
The Executive requested reports from Natàlia Garriga and the Financial Controller of the Generalitat, Rosa Vidal Planella. Finally, last 29 January the Government of Rajoy sent their reports to the Court.
Natàlia Garriga, author of the first report, was arrested by the Guardia Civil. It was by order of the Court of Instruction no. 13 from Barcelona during the Anubis Operation on last 20 September.
14 people were arrested that day; among them several high offices of the Generalitat that were accused of participating in the organization of the referendum.
Moreover, the same day there was a gathering of about 40.000 people in front of the Department of Economy while the court committee registered the office, as a response to the court order.
The first report sent by the Spanish Government is the one made by Natàlia Garriga. It was request by the Director General of Internal Affairs of the Ministry of Inner Affairs.
In this document Garriga certifies that no expenditure file has been processed from her Directorate of Services to finance the organization “of the referendum of 1 October 2017”
In four pages she explains that “responding to the imperative of the ruling” of the Constitutional Court, no credit entries had been made to the budgetary line provided for the 1 October referendum in her department. She also mentions a provision of 5 millions for electoral procedures and public consultations. And further 800.000 € for electoral procedures and citizen participation.
The Spanish Government spent that budget provision of the 1 October referendum on the 21 December election
Furthermore she alleges that the Spanish Government spent the 5 millions of the budget blocked by the Constitutional Court on the regional elections that took place last 21 December in Catalonia.
In fact, the answer includes the agreement of the Spanish Minister Council by virtue of which an expense of 25 millions of Euro for the Catalan elections was authorized; an expense of 17.3 millions of that provision was foreseen in 2017.
The said agreement of the Government is signed by Cristóbal Montoro, Spanish Minister of Finances of Rajoy’s cabinet. There he explains that a budget modification of 12.3 millions of Euro had been approved, since there was a provision of 5 millions more in the accounts of the Generalitat.
Garriga also reminds in her answer that there is a report of the Generalitat written on 17 December upon request of the Director General of the legal advice of the Department of Vice-Presidency of the autonomous region’s government and that it had already been sent to the Court.
The enclosed document collected the answers of all directors of service of the different departments of the Generalitat, certifying that no expenditure had been made for the organization of the 1 October referendum.
The said report is signed by Pere Aragonés, caretaker Secretary of the Department of Economy. He is one of the participants of the meetings according to the pro-sovereignty process agenda made by Josep Maria Jové.
Precisely this report denying any expense made by the Generalitat, together with the reports of the Guardia Civil that warned of the opacity of this autonomic administration, motivated the request of the Court of Instruction no. 13 to Mariano Rajoy’s Government for information about the real expenses of public money incurred by the Catalan Government to organize the referendum.
The Financial Controller denies any expenses on the 1 October referendum
The Spanish Government also attaches to its answer another file of the Financial Controller of the Generalitat, Rosa Vidal, in which she reports that she does not have any record of expenditure under Programme 132 of the Generalitat Budget for popular consultations and that was blocked by order of the Constitutional Court.
And she adds that no budgetary or extra-budgetary expenditure files intended for the referendum process have been found at any of the states of the accounting process.
The only recognized payment obligations admitted by the Financial Controller are two expenses of 19,366.68 and 6,154.66 made by the Telecommunications and Information Technology Centre (CTTI) relating to the basic “maintenance and improvement” of a computer system that has existed for years in the Department of Governance, Public Administration and Housing.
In her report, she states that having analysed the two files, in her opinion “they neither contravene the current legal system nor the Ruling of the Constitutional Court”.