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Agriculture minister, interim replacement at head of foreign ministry

Alfred Bosch stepped down over handling of sexual misconduct allegations against fired chief of staff

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10 March 2020 11:01 AM

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ACN | Barcelona

The agriculture minister, Teresa Jordà, will temporarily replace the foreign minister, Alfred Bosch, who resigned on Monday evening, until a final appointment to the post is made – Jordà will be in charge of both departments at the same time. 

On Tuesday morning, Catalonia's official gazette made the resignation of Bosch official, after the minister stepped down over the handling of sexual misconduct allegations against his fired chief of staff, Carles Garcias. 

The Catalan president, Quim Torra, thanked Bosch for his work through a decree. He had been foreign minister since November 2018, replacing former MEP Ernest Maragall.

Daily 'Ara' published on Monday that several female employees in the foreign department had made formal complaints alleging constant verbal harassment by Garcias that helped create a climate of "terror" in the department, although none of the alleged incidents was reported to the police and there is no suggestion of any physical aggression.

 

  • "I tried to handle a case of alleged sexual misconduct the way I thought best. I probably didn’t do it properly or quickly enough, and I am sorry."

    Alfred Bosch · Former foreign minister

Garcias was fired on January 24, but the same media reports say that came only after the leadership of the pro-independence Esquerra party obliged their fellow member, Bosch, to sack him against his will. 

At a press conference on Monday evening, Bosch explained his reasons for stepping down: "I tried to handle a case of alleged sexual misconduct the way I thought best. I probably didn’t do it properly or quickly enough, and I am sorry."

Top ERC official defends Bosch and party

With the spotlight on ERC's handling of the situation, deputy secretary general Marta Vilalta defended Bosch and her party on Monday before he announced that he would be resigning, saying that they had acted in a "forceful" manner when faced with the "seriousness" of the allegations.

"In light of this extremely serious situation, the [then foreign] minister decided to fire this person and he did so in agreement with Esquerra Republicana," she said, but she did not answer questions about the allegation that Bosch had tried to move Garcias to another post.

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  • The agriculture minister, Teresa Jordà, during an event in Mollerussa, western Catalonia, on March 6, 2020 (by Oriol Bosch)

  • The agriculture minister, Teresa Jordà, during an event in Mollerussa, western Catalonia, on March 6, 2020 (by Oriol Bosch)

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