The Civil Guard has refuted, in one of its latest reports, the arguments given by the current Catalan government chaired by Joaquim Torra in a report forwarded to the Court, to justify the reasons that led several senior officials of the Executive of Carles Puigdemont to travel Several places in Europe. The current Catalan government assures that they went to return to international markets, while the Armed Institute alleges that they were made to seek funding for the Republic and to learn from other countries in order to assemble state structures.
These trips cost more than 6,000 euros and were made by a group of members of the Govern – including the current Vice President Pere Aragonés, when he was Secretary of Economy – bound for the United Kingdom, Ireland, Flanders, Estonia, Norway and Slovenia for 'learn' from structures such as the management of the Public Treasury, the creation of a Central Bank, the Cadastre, ports, customs or banking for the design of that independent region and in order to finance the new Republic.
The investigators have explained to the judge that the response of the current Govern does not correspond to the investigation they have carried out and the content of the documentation that they have intervened. This response has been produced through a letter sent, upon judicial request, by the current Secretary General of the Department of the Vice Presidency of Economy and Finance of the Generalitat, Albert Castellanos Maduel.
In this letter, the Generalitat justifies the trips alleging that, as in 2015 the economy was improving, the Generalitat asked to return to the markets to finance itself and stop relying on the Autonomic Liquidity Fund (FLA).
"In 2016, as a result of the improvement of the economy, it is worth remembering that the GDP growth of 2015 reached 3.4% in relation to the previous year, a very positive figure compared to the European economies of reference, the government of the Generalitat raised the possibility of accessing international financial markets in order to access financing with the lowest possible financial cost, "argues the General Secretary of the Generalitat vice-presidency.
He also argues that the actions to access international markets were made "under strict compliance with the current legal system." Therefore, the letter adds, "the purpose of the trips consisted in an exchange of knowledge about the international economy and the financial sector" and, more specifically, "about the consequences of the economic crisis".
"It also consisted of acquiring knowledge and good practices on public financing and treasury," stresses the text, which includes in the justification trips that were "planned to face the digital modernization of the tax administration."
The letter, which includes the explanation of part of the expenses, refuses to give the information requested by the Civil Guard on the agenda of the meetings and the explanatory memory of the same, claiming that "it does not appear".
However, the researchers claim that these statements contrast with the information they have in their possession as a result of the entries and records they have made throughout the investigation, in addition to reproach that the Government of Torra has not included in the response to all the assistants to those displacements as well as their expenses.
THE OUTSIDE FINANCING OF THE FUTURE REPUBLIC
In fact, and based on the information available, the Civil Guard considers that the purpose of all these trips was "to meet with political personalities from third countries, managers of banking entities that operate internationally, responsible for specialized investment funds. in the acquisition of sovereign debt as well as with public debt rating companies "to" deal with issues related to the future foreign financing of an independent Catalonia ".
In this analysis, the Civil Guard begins by stating that in the documents intervened in the Department of the Treasury and on the Generalitat's letterhead, the order of the day is included, in addition to what is discussed during the trips.
Thus, it shows as an example one that includes the trip to Slovenia on January 9 and 10, 2017. On those days, Pere Aragonés, Natalia Mas – general director of Economic Analysis -, Adam Casals –of the Department of Foreign Affairs- – and external adviser Ana Stanic – president in London – met with the first governor of the Central Bank of Slovenia.
They also did it with the chief negotiator of the foreign debt of this country at the time of independence and head of negotiations for entry into the EU and with the Minister of Economy in the first Slovenian government.
ARAGONÉS JUSTIFIES TO PAY EXPENSES TO AN EXTERNAL ADVISOR OF LONDON
On this same trip, the armed institute also mentions a document delivered by the Generalitat in which Pere Aragonés, at that time secretary of Economy, made a report to be paid the expenses of the trip to Ana Stanic. In it he said that the purpose of the displacement was "to share experiences on the analysis of the international economy and the financial sectors of the territorial areas of competence of the two governments".
According to the report of Civil Guard, Aragones "did not capture" in the document to pay the expenses of the trip of Ana Stanic – 407.82 euros – "the true motivation of the same, but could deliberately falsify the object of this displacement" since, according to the documents available to the investigators, the "real reason" was to learn about how the "dissolution of Yugoslavia and the declaration of independence of Slovenia" took place, as well as the search for support for Catalonia before the European Central Bank (BCE).
In addition, in the Slovenian "roadmap", which they were learning, "constant references and comparisons" appear with the situation in Catalonia, which in many cases become "recommendations" so that "finally Catalonia could not only achieve the independence, but also that it be recognized internationally by third countries. "
After this trip, another one was programmed for the days 29 to 31 of January, by Lluís Salvadó, Secretary of the Treasury. In the information recently contributed by the general secretary of the vice-presidency it is only informed that whoever planned to travel was Salvadó but that it was annulled.
However, the investigators specify that the trip was made and also accompanied by Francesc Xavier Martínez Gil, head of inter-administrative coordination in tax matters of the Tax Agency of Catalonia; Ramón Roy Torras, TIC-TAC director and Josué Sallent, director of Strategy and Innovation of the CTTI. The investigators are based on a document found at one of Salvado's own secretaries where he says it was to "continue with the learning of the Slovenian 'road map'."
Another of the trips went to Flanders, from 20 to 22 November 2016. In this case, the Generalitat only reports that Salvadó traveled, but the armed institute says that they did Eduard Vilá Marhuenda, Jordi Boixereu, Xavier Martínez Gil , Jordi Bernat and Ricard Beltrán. The objective was, in part, to study the customs system.
The report also mentions the trips to Ireland, London and Norway and recalls that Josep María Jové, Secretary General of Economy, was detailed in one of the documents intervened, where it is revealed that the idea of reintroducing Catalan public debt in international markets was for, at the moment of the independence of Catalonia, having this "important financing channel" ready.