Revealed: Spain spied on Catalan offices abroad

Confidential communications between the Catalan government and its delegations abroad intercepted, say TV3 and

Spain's foreign minister Josep Borrell (by Natàlia Segura)
Spain's foreign minister Josep Borrell (by Natàlia Segura) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 9, 2019 10:24 PM

The Spanish government has been spying on the Catalan government offices abroad looking for a pro-independence bias, according to documents disclosed by and the Catalan public TV.

Madrid intercepted confidential communications between Catalan officials and the government’s delegates in London, Geneva, and Berlin, and presented them as evidence in a lawsuit seeking the suspension of Catalonia’s foreign offices. 

Spain’s foreign minister, Josep Borrell, has described Catalonia’s foreign offices as “harmful to Spain’s image" and announced that Madrid would try to have the delegations in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Germany closed down.

Reports on delegates' activities

The disclosed documents include information on the daily activities of the Catalan delegates, the meetings they attended, and their activity on social media. There are also reports on events organized abroad by the government.

One document, for example, describes the Catalan delegate to Switzerland as an "activist" working "against" the general interests of Spain and it goes on to question his legal status in the country.

Another from the Spanish embassy in Germany says the foreign office had instructions from ERC party head, Oriol Junqueras, to contact religious representatives with the "aim" of gaining the support of the Church for "the situation of the Catalan political prisoners."

The same report informs on the activities of the Berlin delegate who, as with the one in Switzerland, is said to be "spreading the pro-independence message," considered key in "boosting the international image" of the independence cause.


Catalan president Quim Torra has called for Spain's foreign minister, Josep Borrell, to step down for what he has called "Borrellgate."

Calling the minister's actions "extremely serious," Torra also said he would be informing European consulates of the Spanish government's spying.