Spanish Minister and Anti-fraud Office Director plot against Catalan pro-independence parties

  • Trying to find different ways to accuse and discredit Catalonia’s main parties, ERC and CDC

22.06.2016 - 02:25
Actualització: 22.06.2016 - 02:26

Current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs and governing People’s Party candidate to run for the Spanish Elections in Barcelona, Jorge Fernández Díaz, has been involved in a conspiracy scandal.

According to Spanish newspaper ‘Público’ Fernández Díaz and the Director of the Catalan Anti-fraud Office, Daniel de Alfonso Laso, allegedly plotted to find different ways to accuse and discredit Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties left-wing ERC and liberal Convergència.

The conversations between Fernández Díaz and Laso which ‘Público’ published this Tuesday are said to have taken place in 2014. Catalan Government spokeswoman and CDC member, Neus Munté, has called for Fernández Díaz “to offer explanations” and other parties are already urging him to resign. The revelations come five days before the 26-J Spanish Elections.

“I will not resign, it is the Minister [for Home Affairs] who should do so”, stated the Director of Spanish Anti-fraud Office, Daniel de Alfonso Laso, in a radio interview this Tuesday, after the scandal was made public.

The recording suggests that both Fernández Díaz and Alfonso de Laso were allegedly trying to find suspicious dealings, business or family connections to discredit members of ERC and CDC. “Don’t do it yourself; selling it to the press and always naming the Spanish Police’s division for Economic and Fiscal crimes (UDEF) you will lose favour”, suggested Alfonso de Laso to current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs on the recording, “give the information to me instead”.

Some parts of the conversation also reveal how de Laso considered some information to be “too soft” and Fernández Díaz suggested going further so as to involve former Catalan Ministers, Convergència’s Felip Puig and Francesc Homs. Other pieces of the dialogue point to the brother of Catalan Vice-President, Oriol Junqueras, who was ERC’s leader at the time.

Catalan parties react

“We call for [Fernández Díaz’s] resignation and that of the Director of the Spanish Anti-fraud Office”, stated Catalan Minister for Justice, Carles Mundó. “It is unacceptable that such a meeting to plot against political adversaries took place”.

Catalan Government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, assured that she is “outraged” by the news and said on Twitter that “urgent explanations” were needed, as well as “assuming responsibility”.

ERC’s General Secretary, Marta Rovira lamented that the Spanish Government “constantly plots against parties and democratic guarantees” and therefore called for Fernández Díaz’s “immediate resignation”. The ERC candidate for the Spanish Elections said the scandal reminds her of “The Godfather film” and called for “them not to go to bed as Minister for Home Affairs or Director of the Anti-fraud Office”.

“The conversation proves the low morality of those who are unscrupulous”, stated liberal Convergència candidate for the Spanish Elections, Francesc Homs, who is explicitly named on the recording. “Reading this transcript is disgusting”, he added.

Alternative left alliance ‘En Comú Podem’ also reacted to the scandal. One of the party’s candidates for the Spanish Elections, Xavier Domènech, warned that “pro-independence supporters should bear in mind that the enemy is PP” which he defined as “a party riffed in corruption”. “We cannot expect anything other than [Fernández Díaz’s] resignation and if it doesn’t happen we will have to throw him out on the 26-J”, he added.

Radical left pro-independence CUP reaffirmed their “implacable commitment against corruption” and called for the current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs’ “immediate resignation”.


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