Opposition parties file two requests to launch parliamentary investigations into Pujol’s fraud

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Barcelona (ACN).- As it was announced on Tuesday, all the opposition parties except the Catalan Socialists (PSC) have filed requests to create investigation committees at the Catalan Parliament as a result of the fiscal fraud confessed by the former President of Catalonia, Jordi Pujol, and other offenses he or his entourage could have allegedly committed. Two requests were filed separately on Wednesday morning, one presented by left-wing parties supporting self-determination and the other presented by the two Spanish nationalist parties. The first one aims to check whether there have been cases of “fraud, fiscal evasion and political corruption […] in the context of Pujol’s case” and “in the context of public-private contracts […] during the last decades”. It has been filed by the left-wing Catalan independence party ERC, the Catalan green socialist and post-communist coalition ICV-EUiA and the alternative left and radical independence party CUP. The PSC has finally not joined this petition, but it will vote for it in the Parliament as will the populist and liberal party C’s. The second request has been filed by the People’s Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government, and C’s. It aims to scrutinise “the existence of bank accounts in fiscal paradises owned by current or former officials of the Catalan Government, their illicit gain and/or the earning of illegal commissions”. The governing CiU, which is the coalition that Pujol led until 2003, was sceptical on whether the opposition parties will be able to reach an agreement among themselves to finally launch such as committee, which has to be approved by a parliamentary majority. If at the end the ERC, the PSC or the PP oppose the creation of a committee, following the Catalan Parliament’s arithmetic, the petition would not reach the required majority to be approved.

The ERC, the ICV-EUiA and the CUP on the one hand and the PP and the C’s on the other have filed two requests to launch an investigation commission within the Catalan Parliament related into Pujol’s fiscal fraud and the suspicions of alleged political corruption linked to the governments he chaired uninterruptedly between 1980 and 2003, as well as to the party he used to lead.

Two petitions have been filed in the end since, in the current political atmosphere totally dominated by the self-determination debate, it would have been quite surprising to see, for instance, the Spanish nationalist and conservative PP, running the Spanish Government, reaching an agreement and filing the same petition together with the alternative left and radical independence CUP, the left-wing independence party ERC and the green socialist and post-communist ICV-EUiA. The PP totally opposes Catalonia’s right to self-determination and the ERC, ICV-EUiA and CUP are, together with the CiU, the parties supporting the self-determination vote, scheduled for the 9th of November.

Probably because of these reasons, the PSC and the C’s, who oppose the vote and Catalonia’s independence, did not joined the ERC, ICV-EUiA and CUP to file the petition, but announced they would vote for it at the Catalan Parliament. In order for this petition to pass it would require the PP to also vote for it or to abstain, since Pujol’s former party (CiU) will very likely vote against it.

The petition filed by the left-wing pro-self-determination parties will have three objectives. Firstly, “to study the dimension of fiscal fraud in Catalonia”, explained the CUP MP David Fernández. Secondly, “to identify and draw the map of the political corruption linked to the licenses of public works”. Finally, “to identify the political responsibilities [of those involved] during the last decades”. This would be in the context of Pujol’s case. The ICV-EUiA MP Dolors Camats said that this commission does not rule out the need for Pujol to address the Catalan Parliament to provide further explanation about the fiscal fraud he confessed through a press release on the 25th of July.

Besides, the petition presented by the two Spanish nationalist parties at the Catalan Parliament, PP and C’s, aims to launch an investigation into the bank accounts in fiscal paradises that they assume are owned by officials or former officials of the Catalan Government. In addition, the PP and C’s also want to scrutinise “their illicit gain and/or the charging of illegal commissions”; statements made by the PP and C’s as if they were already true.