Torra offers to reinstate sacked ministers in jail or abroad
Spanish government says deposed officials “cannot be ministers” again and appointing them would lead the executive to reconsider ending direct rule
In his first interview since being elected president, Torra said “it would be an honor” if the jailed and exiled ministers were to accept being appointed to the same posts they were removed from last October. Six of them are in two Madrid prisons, while four more are in exile, in Scotland and Belgium. Carles Puigdemont, the president of the dismissed cabinet, is in Berlin, with two more free in Catalonia. Yet all of them are awaiting trial over an alleged misuse of public funds, while nine of them also face rebellion charges.
"People who are held in custody or who have fled the Spanish judiciary obviously cannot be ministers, even if they are appointed"
Enric Millo · Spanish government delegate in Catalonia
Torra will meet the deposed president Puigdemont in Germany on Tuesday afternoon. The formation of a new executive is among the topics they will cover, the newly elected head of government said on Tuesday. Torra also intends to visit the incarcerated officials this week or “as soon as possible.”
"They cannot be ministers"
Some hours earlier, on Monday evening, the Spanish government delegate in Catalonia, Enric Millo, commented on the possibility of reinstating the dismissed ministers. “People who are held in custody or who have fled the Spanish judiciary obviously cannot be ministers, even if they are appointed,” said Millo. “They could not be present, they would not be able to attend their direction committee meetings, they would not be present at events, to sign documents or to sort out everyday issues.”
According to Millo, reinstating them would be “nonsense.” Yet he also said that he was “unaware” of whether it is legal for them to take office from prison or abroad. The Spanish government would assess the legal situation should such thing happen and whether to go ahead with lifting the direct rule of Catalonia, revealed Millo.