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Madrid sacks two Catalan government officials using Article 155

"As they could not get the big prey, they are going after the small ones now," says dismissed director of Public Administration School

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20 April 2018 02:39 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish government has dismissed the director of the Public Administration School, Agustí Colomines, and the General Director of Foreign Relations, Marina Falcó, on Friday, applying Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. The Spanish government justified the dismissals saying that "the situation of these people is incompatible with the position they are holding at these moments."

Spain's firing of the general manager of Foreign Relations, Marina Falcó, came after the deposed and exiled Catalan Culture Minister, Lluís Puig, participated in an event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the writer Manuel de Pedrolo at Catalonia's government delegation in Brussels on Wednesday. Puig gave a short speech after a Catalan association invited him to speak on their behalf, in an initiative that they said was improvised.

The Catalan delegation, under control of the Spanish government, said that Puig was not amongst those invited to the event, which was open to the public. However, the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry immediately said that it would take "measures" to respond to what it saw as an "unpleasant incident." Falcó, who was the highest-ranking official present from the Catalan administration, has been subsequently fired. The Spanish government considers Puig as a "fugitive". He is fighting extradition in Belgium, where a judge decided he can walk free while his case is being considered.

It is not clear why Agustí Colomines, who is a close ally to the deposed president Carles Puigdemont and also one of the ideologists of the coalition "Junts per Catalunya" (Together for Catalonia) has been dismissed.

The director of the Public Administration School in Catalonia, Agustí Colomines, said that his dismissal on Friday is about Spain going after "the small ones", now that "they could not get the big prey." In a comment made on Catalan public television, he also added that the Spanish government is aimed at "destroying the Catalan administration."

"The metropolis is in charge. They are 600 km away and they have no idea about how the administration works," continued the now sacked director of the Public Administration School while denouncing that at "each payment they ask you to swear on the Constitution that the money does not go to the independence process."

Moreover, Agustí Colomines accused the Spanish government of dismantling the Catalan government, the Generalitat. That is why he stressed the importance of "recovering the government." "If we had had a government, this would not have happened," he said, adding that this goes for the other recent dismissals of Catalan government officials. 

Already on Tuesday, the Spanish Government delegate in Catalonia, Enric Millo, insinuated that there could be dismissals of Catalan government officials this Friday due to the "lack of trust." 

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  • The dismissed General Director of Foreign Relations, Marina Falcó (By Blanca Blay / ACN)

  • The dismissed General Director of Foreign Relations, Marina Falcó (By Blanca Blay / ACN)