The use of the Catalan Institute of Finance to guarantee the 5.4 million euros of guarantee imposed by the Court of Auditors to those responsible for the Catalan separatist process is the subject of questioning in the body that ensures the correct management of public funds.
Several members of the Court of Auditors consulted by EL ESPAÑOL consider that there is a “evident conflict of interest” between the Generalitat of Catalonia and the 42 high-ranking officials those who the court considers allegedly responsible for the loss of public funds that led to the use of those 5.4 million in actions carried out abroad to publicize the ‘procés’ and seek international support for independence.
Among those exalted positions are the former Catalan presidents Carles Puigdemont Y Artur Mas, the former vice president Oriol Junqueras or the former counselor Raül Romeva, whose assets would begin to be seized by the Court of Accounts in the event that the amount improperly used in the foreign action of the Generalitat is not secured or in the event that the instructor, Esperanza García Moreno, does not accept the endorsement of the Institute Catalan of Finance announced this Wednesday in the Parliament by the Minister of Economy, Jaume Giró.
Help the one who hurts
The ICF is a public financial entity owned by the Generalitat of Catalonia, which is the one that appoints and dismisses all the members of its governing board. In its capital there was an initial endowment from the Parliament and endowments from the Generalitat’s budget.
The sources of the Court of Auditors consulted consider that the Autonomous Administration harmed by the loss of funds It cannot be the one that, through one of its agencies, endorses the alleged perpetrators of the misuse of public resources to promote an illegal separatist process.
“No creditor guarantees the debtors at his expense so that they return what they owe him,” say these sources, who say that in the Court of Accounts there is no precedent for something like this.
In the Court of Auditors not only is the ICF operation questioned but it is considered that “whoever signs this guarantee is exposed to being himself the subject of another procedure by scope, since it would be using public money in an improper use “.
When the bank runs away
They further suggest that guarantors could incur criminal liability for malfeasance and embezzlement and they point out that “it is no coincidence” that no bank has wanted to guarantee the guarantee of the ‘procés’.
“If the bank flees it is because the risk of legal problems is high. The performance of banks is a clear indicator that the claim of the Generalitat is not impeccable from the legal point of view “, they affirm.
The ICF’s legal purpose is totally remote of the provision of an endorsement of the characteristics that those responsible for the ‘procés’ need to face the guarantee of the Court of Auditors. Its mission is to facilitate access to financing for the economic fabric of Catalonia, providing economic resources in an alternative or complementary way to those of private banking to companies, entities, freelancers and public-private projects.
There are also problems in the decree-law 15/2021 itself, whose transitory provision gives entry to the ICF in the new Complementary Risk Fund, created by the Government of Pere Aragonés at a horse’s finger so that the bail of the ‘procés’ is provided without that the 42 former employees involved see their assets compromised.
“Legitimate exercise of the position”
The decree-law establishes that, if no financial entity issues a guarantee against the Fund (as has happened), the ICF may do so exceptionally. But the Fund can only be activated, according to the Generalitat’s own rule, when an official or authority may be harmed “as a consequence of the legitimate exercise of the position”.
It is difficult to consider “legitimate exercise of the position” the impairment of public funds in activities of the ‘procés’, some of which have also been condemned for embezzlement in the sentence of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of October 14, 2019.
In any case, the examiner of the Court of Accounts will decide whether or not to accept the endorsement of the Catalan Institute of Finance. Your decision, whatever it is, will be the object of appeals, It will be up to three counselors from the prosecution section of the Court of Accounts to decide.
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