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Parliament dismisses Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office amid smear scandal

Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office, Daniel de Alfonso has been dismissed by the Catalan Chamber. All the groups in the Parliament, except for the Conservative People’s Party (PP) considered de Alfonso unfit to continue with his duties after several tapes published last week by Spanish newspaper ‘Público’ revealed conversations between him and current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, where they both plotted to accuse and discredit Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties, left-wing ERC and Liberal Convergència. This Wednesday, pro-independence cross-party ‘Junts Pel Sí’s spokeswoman, Marta Rovira, accused de Alfonso of “obvious and severe negligence” of his duties and lamented the “political and partisan use” he made out of the Anti-fraud Office. 

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29 June 2016 06:48 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- All the groups in the Catalan Chamber except for the Conservative People’s Party (PP) have approved the dismissal of the Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office, Daniel de Alfonso, for having plotted against Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties, left-wing ERC and Liberal Convergència. According to several tapes published last week by Spanish newspaper ‘Público’ de Alfonso and current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs and PP candidate for the 2016 Spanish Elections, Jorge Fernández Díaz, discussed how to accuse and discredit ERC and Convergència. Pro-independence cross-party ‘Junts Pel Sí’s spokeswoman, Marta Rovira, accused de Alfonso of “obvious and severe negligence” of his duties and lamented the “political and partisan use” he made out of the Anti-fraud Office. In his appearance before the Parliament last week, de Alfonso stated that he considered himself “a scapegoat” and accused the parties in the Catalan Chamber of wanting an “overawed” and “docile” Anti-fraud Office.


One week after the smear scandal involvingDirector of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office, Daniel de Alfonso and current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs and PP candidate for the 2016 Spanish Elections, Jorge Fernández Díaz was made public, the Parliament has dismissed de Alfonso.However, the decision was not unanimous, since the 11 PP MPs in the 135-seat Parliament voted against the dismissal.

‘Junts Pel Sí’ laments “political and partisan use” of the Anti-fraud Office

The pro-independence cross-party list, the main force in the Parliament, accused de Alfonso of “obvious and severe negligence” of his duties and lamented the “political and partisan use” he made of the Anti-fraud Office. “Those were not meetings to avoid corruption but to openly plot”, stated ‘Junts Pel Sí’ spokeswoman, Marta Rovira, referring to the conversations which were revealed to have taken place between de Alfonso and Jorge Fernández Díaz.

Rovira pointed out that it is not for the Parliament to start “a criminal trial” against de Alfonso but admitted that they were studying if there might have been crimes of influence peddling or revealing state secrets involved.

‘Ciutadans’: “These facts disqualify de Alfonso”

Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ spokesman, Carlos Carrizosa, considered the smear scandal to call “the Anti-fraud Office’s independence into question” and that “these facts disqualify de Alfonso”. “We hope that de Alfonso’s replacement will be the first act of the Spanish democracy’s cleaning” stated Carrizosa.

However, Carrizosa also accused current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs of “giving wings” to the populists and lamented that pro-independence parties are using the scandal “to favour them”.

PSC: “We consider de Alfonso to be independent”

According to the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) the fact that the people involved in the scandal haven’t yet denied the veracity of the conversations give them validity. PSC’s spokesman in the Parliament, Ferran Pedret emphasised that in the leaked recordings, de Alfonso asked Fernández Díaz to consider him “a corporal” of the current Ministers’ “police”. “We consider de Alfonso to be independent”, he said. 

Pedret also denied de Alfonso’s accusations which pointed to PSC as the party behind the leaked recordings.

Catalunya Sí que es Pot’: Fernández Díaz “inherited the Francoist tradition”

Alternative-left alliance ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ considered de Alfonso to have been “subjected to” a Minister whom “inherited the Francoist tradition”. ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ leader, Lluís Rabell also accused the current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs of being an “agitator”. “The fact that we condemn de Alfonso doesn’t mean that Catalonia doesn’t need a body such as the Anti-fraud Office” he stated, but called it to have “the necessary prestige and recognition of the Catalan society”.

PP: “What is the real political scandal?”

PP MP Santi Rodríguez posted some questions around de Alfonso’s dismissal and considered it to be partisan. “We are before a political scandal of huge dimensions”, he said “but what is the real political scandal? The illegal recording of a conversation held in the current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs’ office is a crime”, he said. “Who did it and what was the objective? No MP has even worried about this question”, added Rodríguez and urged to the Chamber to think about “the interests behind this dismissal”.

CUP: “De Alfonso shouldn’t continue as a magistrate”

Radical left pro-independence CUP called on the parties involved to clarify the facts and repair the Anti-fraud Office’s prestige. “The best victory against the impostor of de Alfonso is announcing a new director [of the Anti-fraud Office] as soon as possible and proving that the body works and is worth it”, stated CUP MP, Benet Salellas. He also commented that “it would be a fraud” if de Alfonso would continue to continue his role as a judge and described him as “pure sewer”. 

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  • MPs voting in the Parliament's session (by ACN)

  • MPs voting in the Parliament's session (by ACN)