Madrid Updated: 03/27/2019 23: 27h47
Idoctrinating journalists in Catalonia.
The Generalitat of Catalonia established a roadmap since it approved its 2010-2015 External Action Plan. The objective was to turn Catalonia into a leading international actor with a single objective: independence. And it spared no expense to explain the “procés“. International travels, monothematic conferences, contracting of lobbies, all kinds of contacts with journalists, politicians and parliamentarians from different countries, grants, advicing, observers for the illegal referendum of 1-O … A set of initiatives that led to the waste of 421 million euros for 7 years. Behind the cracks, a chimera: the creation of a new State integrated into the European Union.
The expenses were assumed both by the so-called “Catalan embassies” and by Diplocat. A waste without any control. In their obsession to promote self-determination, in their accounts they forgot Catalonia, which was suffering cuts in Education and Health, and set their eyes abroad. As an example, the activities organized in the different delegations, under the banner of the right to decide, did amount to at least 275,925 euros. Among them, the presentation in the Delegation of France on March 20, 2014 of the book “Catalonia calling. The world has to know it” by the director of the magazine Sapiens, Claudia Pujol.
On its website it states that «on the occasion of the tercentenary of the Catalan defeat in 1714, the campaign “El Mundo lo tiene que saber” was launched, a project aimed at international personalities with the aim of raising awareness of the alleged Catalan nation, its story “and its right to decide what future it wants for itself”. With the campaign, they tried to get contributions from individuals to send the book to different foreign personalities.
Another of the measures adopted by the Generalitat was a series of international visits whose cost amounted to 550,000 euros, aimed at foreign personalities and journalists. One of them was on the occasion of the Day of Sant Jordi, a festivity to which they invited journalists from Germany, Austria, Croatia, Scotland, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Poland and the United States, for a stay in Barcelona for three days in April 2016. The program included meetings with the president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, and the mayor Ada Colau; a working session with Catalan writers and a visit to the headquarters of Ómnium Cultural, where they could talk with Jordi Cuixart. Another invitation was given to six journalists from four South American countries between September 10 and 12, 2017 to attend the Diada and meet with members of the Catalan Government and representatives of civil organizations to explain their position on the referendum.
The Delegation in the United Kingdom held annual meetings since 2013 with the British press to explain “the desire of the majority of the Catalan parliament and people to have a consultation about the future of the country” and “the sovereignty objectives”, paying dinners of 2,000 and 3,000 euros. Or the case of a journalist from Radio France Internationale who traveled with the expenses paid to Barcelona to produce a report that was issued on June 18, 2017 with the title “In Catalonia, a desire for independence full of obstacles”.
The US lobby Independent Diplomat, in addition to seeking mediation with members of NATO and the ministries of foreign affairs, was responsible for the development of an internationalization strategy to obtain support for the referendum, the preparation of opinion articles and their publication in different newspapers both European and North American. In this line, Diplocat instructed experts and academics to prepare texts on economics, parliamentarism, political institutions and current affairs, and even on how Spanish public opinion perceived the 1-O. Total: 105,833 euros.
Many of the news of the trips of Artur Mas and Carles Puigdemont around the world -which supposed 887,846 euros of the total amount of 1,053,077- were doped. Since 2013, the Generalitat had established through Diplocat a list of 35 European and American countries where they would try to get published articles by looking for an expert of the place to write the text. Thus, they published 81 articles in the main newspapers signed by the president of the Generalitat or his advisors, together with notes and press calls, interviews and meetings for 86,068 euros. Diplocat also devoted itself to “digital diplomacy”, as it recognized in its own activity report. To this end, on April 21, 2014, a monothematic web called “CataloniaVotes” (www.cataloniavotes.eu) was launched, which still continues to be anchored on October 1 and announces that its activities will soon be reactivated. The cost, 451,171 euros.
The last tweet
The last tweet from @ThIsCatalonia is in English and is dedicated to the former president of the Government, Mariano Rajoy. It ensures that Diplocat closes in application of article 155. This website was initially designed to publicize the consultation of 9-N 2014, but remained active pending the “final consultation”.
Of all the waste of public money, perhaps the most bleeding detected by the Court of Accounts is that of funds theoretically dedicated to development cooperation. The funds that were originally intended to reduce youth unemployment in the urban centers of Ethiopia (€ 30,000), to the promotion of gender equity in Nicaragua (€ 30,000) and redirecting the refugee crisis in Lebanon (€ 40,000) did not arrive at such a destination, but these funds were “transferred from the outset to the budgetary program of external action of the Generalitat”.
Nothing, not even this type of aid, has escaped the voracity of those from the Catalan institutions preferred to bet on spreading the benefits of a non-existent and probably unfeasible republic.