Involved parties and organizations react to the ‘Palau case’ sentencing
While former leader of convicted CDC party Artur Mas denies irregularities, private prosecution is “rather satisfied” with the judge’s decision
Most Catalan parties reacted to the ‘Palau Case’ sentence by emphasizing that it was time that the sentence be released, more than 8 years after Catalan police raided the Palau de la Música concert hall for the first time in 2009. The Federation of neighborhood associations in Barcelona (FAVB), who acted as private prosecution in the judicial process, said it was “rather satisfied” with the judge’s decision.
There were many reactions to the outcome of the trial, but especially awaited were statements of former Catalan president Artur Mas. For years, he was also the leader of the Convergència party (CDC), sentenced to pay back €6.6 million, the sum it accepted from a firm in exchange for rigging public tenders to benefit the company. “Irregularities in the managing of public tender have never been demonstrated for the period when I was in charge of the Catalan administration, therefore, if there are no irregularities, there are no benefits,” said Mas. He assessed the sentence “very negatively” in statements to the Catalan News Agency.
"Sentences prove plundering," says private prosecution
A FAVB lawyer said that he was satisfied with the outcome of the trial. “The sentences prove their responsibility for the plundering of the cultural institution,” he pointed out. Indeed, the court found Millet and Montull guilty of taking €23 million from the institution. The lawyer also welcomed the fact that both heads of the Palau de la Música and the former treasurer of the Convergència party were convicted for “influence peddling.”
"The sentences prove their responsibility for the plundering of the cultural institution"
Àlex Solà · Lawyer for the private prosecution FAVB
The other pro-independence parties welcomed the ruling. “It was time for a sentence, we hope that whoever has to take responsibility does so,” said the Esquerra Republicana spokesman. While avoiding criticizing Convergència or PDeCAT, he pointed out that Esquerra “is a party with an 86-year history and no corruption case.” For the far-left CUP party, the current PDeCAT is responsible for these events “even if they say it is no longer Convergència.” According to a CUP official, “justice is slow for the people who have always held power or for the elites, whereas it is fast for the poor people in this city and the whole country.”
The unionist parties also had their say, mostly ripping into Artur Mas and Carles Puigdemont. The Socialists asked both leaders to “apologize” and “give an explanation for the issue.” Ciutadans said that the fact that Mas joined the independence movement after the corruption scandal came to light was only to hide these allegations. Convergència “belonged to a mafia that plundered the money of Catalans,” said an official for Arrimadas’ party. The Catalan branch of the People’s Party said that these allegations “are no longer a myth and are a proven reality.”
Left-wing Catalonia in Common, the only party not standing with either the pro-independence or unionist blocs, also reacted to the sentence. The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, said that Convergència and PDeCAT leaders “have to explicitly say what they knew and what they did not.” According to her, these officials have to take responsibilities “which can include giving up politics.”