home affairs

Spanish Parliament to investigate operation aimed at smearing pro-independence process

February 16, 2017 07:24 PM | ACN

The Spanish Parliament will finally create a committee to investigate whether the Spanish Ministry for Home Affairs plotted to discredit Catalonia’s pro-independence process. According to a police report published last July, the so-called ‘Operation Catalonia’ was launched during last Conservative People’s Party (PP) term of office, involving former Spanish Minister for Home Office, Jorge Fernández Díaz and Inspector José Villarejo, amongst many others. Indeed, Fernández Díaz will have to appear before the Committee in relation to several tapes published last June which proved how he and former Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office, Daniel De Alfonso, plotted to discredit Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties. The creation of this Committee was first requested by left wing pro-independence ERC, former liberal ‘Convergència’, now renamed as the Catalan European Democratic Party PDeCAT and the Spanish Socialist Party, but was delayed due to Fernández Díaz’s serious illness.

Spanish Parliament calls for immediate resignation of Minister Fernández Díaz

October 18, 2016 06:17 PM | ACN

Current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, has been reproved by the Spanish Parliament. All the parties in the Spanish Chamber, except from the currently governing People’s Party (PP) voted in favour of the bill presented by the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDECat) which called for Fernández Díaz’s immediate resignation. The current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs was recently in the spotlight after several tapes revealed his implication in a smear scandal to discredit Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties, ‘Convergència’ (now renamed PDECat) and left wing pro-independence ERC. The recordings, which were made in 2014, revealed a conversation between Fernández Díaz, and the Director of Catalonia's Anti-fraud Office Daniel de Alfonso Laso, who was dismissed soon after the tapes were made public.

Electronic vote for Catalans abroad to be available next June

July 21, 2016 05:58 PM | ACN

Catalans living abroad will be able to cast their vote by electronic means by next June. The system, pioneer in Spain, will have to be in accordance with the LOREG, the Spanish Organic Law of General Electoral Regime. According to Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, the electronic vote is within Spain’s legality and, therefore, “it will be nonsense” for the Spanish Government to impede its implementation. The initative will help Catalans living abroad “to exercise a fundamental right”. The LOREG and the ‘requested vote’ system, introduced in 2010, dragged out the whole process and meant more agents being involved, which  resulted in lower participation. Indeed, only 14,000 of the 200,000 people registered to vote were able to cast their ballot on the last Catalan Elections.

Spanish Ministry for Home Affairs won’t register the new ‘Catalan Democratic Party’

July 14, 2016 06:57 PM | ACN

The Spanish Ministry for Home Affairs warned this Thursday that it is highly probable that the new ‘Catalan Democratic Party’, the name chosen for the reinvented liberal ‘Convergència’ (CDC), won’t be registered in the party register. Thus, the Ministry have the same view as that of ‘Democràtes de Catalunya’, the party which split from former CDC partners Christian Democrats ‘Unió’ who consider the name Catalan Democratic Party’ too similar to their own. The Ministry pointed out that there was a previous attempt to register a party with a similar name in 2015 and that it was rejected for the same reasons. Therefore, “the precedent shows that this name can’t be registered”, the Ministry stated. 

Barcelona closes the Immigrant Detention Centre, but Spain immediately orders its reopening

July 7, 2016 06:55 PM | ACN

Barcelona’s City Hall has found a legal stratagem for not reopening the Immigrant Detention Centre (CIE), which closed in October for renovation works. The CIE, located in Barcelona’s industrial ‘Zona Franca’ area, didn’t have the correct activity licence nor comply with fire regulations and thus the Catalan capital called for the Spanish Ministry for Affairs, the body responsible for the centre, to cease the CIE’s activity. However, the Delegation of the Spanish Government to Catalonia has announced in a communiqué the reopening of the CIE once the works are done and that the judicial services will appeal Barcelona City Hall’s decision. Before hearing about the reopening notice, Barcelona’s deputy mayor, Jaume Asens, stated that if the Ministry refuses the order and reopens the CIE “coercive measures” such as fines or “sealing off the centre” will have to be put in place.

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

June 29, 2016 06:48 PM | ACN

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. 

Rajoy on Fernández Díaz’s smear conspiracy against pro-independence parties: “I just found out yesterday”

June 22, 2016 06:27 PM | ACN

Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, reacted this Wednesday to the recordings published on Tuesday by Spanish newspaper ‘Público’ which revealed a conversation between current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, and the Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office, Daniel de Alfonso Laso, about trying to smear Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties left-wing ERC and liberal Convergència. “I just found out yesterday”, stated Rajoy and added did he didn’t know “who was Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office nor that this position even existed”. The scandal comes five days before the 26-J Spanish Elections and puts Fernández Díaz in a very sensitive position, as he is running for the Spanish Elections in Barcelona province.

Parliament to dismiss Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office amid conspiracy scandal

June 22, 2016 06:25 PM | ACN

The Catalan Chamber has started the necessary procedures to dismiss Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office Daniel De Alfonso, on account of his involvement in a smear scandal against pro-independence parties liberal Convergència and left-wing ERC. He will also be called this Thursday to give explanations before the Parliament’s Commission for Institutional Affairs and may be definitively dismissed by next week. According to a series of recordings published on Tuesday by Spanish newspaper ‘Público’, De Alonso and current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs and People’s Party candidate for the Spanish Elections in Barcelona, Jorge Fernández Díaz, allegedly plotted to find information to discredit political rivals in Catalonia in 2014.