Ricard López, 2 September 2022
The ‘counsellor’ for External Action of the Generalitat, Victòria Alsina, at an event to commemorate Europe Day / Kike Rincón – EUROPA PRESS
The Catalan government has voluntarily contributed a higher amount than countries such as Italy, Austria and Portugal, rising to one million from 2019.
The Generalitat of Catalonia has been contributing huge amounts of money for years to the independent UN Human Rights Committee, which this week criticised Spain for having violated, in its opinion, the ‘political rights’ of the former leaders od the Catalan government Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva, Jordi Turull and Josep Rull by suspending them from their public functions as deputies in 2018 for being indicted for the secessionist process, a year before their convictions for sedition and/or embezzlement.
This body, composed of “independent experts who monitor the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by their States”, has received 200,000 euros so far in 2022 from the Catalan government. This is extracted from the list published by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights( OHCHR), which lists the “voluntary contributions” of the different countries and institutions that finance its work.
More money than Italy, Austria or Portugal
Specifically, these 200,000 euros come from the Agencia Catalana de Cooperación al Desarrollo (ACCD), which depends on the Consejería de Acción Exterior de la Generalitat headed by Victòria Alsina (JxCat). This amount represents almost all of the 231,990 euros contributed from Spain in 2022: another 20,000 euros are provided by the Basque government.
This amount is surprisingly generous, and places Catalonia in the middle range of those who contribute the most money to this independent UN body, surpassing countries such as Italy (188,148 euros), Austria (150,602), doubling others such as Portugal (100,000) or tripling Mexico (67,060), to give some examples. Other contributors are companies such as Google, which has paid 50,000 euros.
One million euros from 2019
The generosity of the secessionist Government with this external committee of the UN – whose latest report, non-binding, is being used with great fanfare by the leaders and media sympathetic to the ruling nationalism in Catalonia to criticise Spanish democracy – goes back a long way: since 2019, the Generalitat has already paid, in a supposedly disinterested manner, a total of almost one million euros.
Thus, in 2021, the secessionist Government paid it 290,000 euros; in 2020, 350,000 euros; and in 2019, 150,000 euros.
In May 2019, another report by the Working Group on Ordinary Detention, under the same UN Human Rights Committee that receives juicy contributions from the Generalitat, published another report in which it described as “arbitrary” the pre-trial detention of Junqueras, as well as that of the former presidents of the ANC and Òmnium Cultural Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, later convicted of sedition. All of them were pardoned by the Spanish Government last year.