Spain’s pursuit of promoters of the 2014 independence vote intensifies in key moments
Court of Auditors demands that former Catalan president Mas and 10 more officials pay approximately 5 million euros in bail
Spain’s pursuit of Catalan officials for organizing the 2014 unofficial independence vote intensifies through an economic aspect. Madrid’s reaction did not end with the former Catalan president being barred from office earlier this year. Its Court of Auditors asked its main three promoters to pay around €5 million, the estimated overall cost of the vote, as bail. On Tuesday it expanded the pursuit to eleven people and shortened the deadline to pay the amount. The Court of Auditors has set September 25 as the date for the 11 officials and former officials to pay the 5-million bail.
The institution’s decision came less than 24 hours before the Catalan Parliament is set to pass the referendum law, which is believed to be the first step of an ultimate clash of wills between Barcelona and Madrid. The vote is planned for October 1.
"The Spanish government skips all the basic rules of democracy”
Oriol Junqueras· Catalan Vice President
The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, said that Spain has decided to “increase the threats and aggressions towards citizens willing to vote.” According to him, the Court of Auditors’ decision is another element to “promote fear” in a key week. His vice president, Oriol Junqueras, said that the Spanish government “skips all the basic rules of democracy”. In addition, he said that there are no guarantees that the executive does not behave the same way with “all Spanish democrats.”
The Catalan High Court sentenced former Catalan president Artur Mas to be barred from office for 2 years. It dictated the same sentence for two of his cabinets ministers, Joana Ortega and Irene Rigau, but for less time. The Spanish Supreme Court also barred another former minister, Francesc Homs, from office for 13 months.