Catalonia and the 3%

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Over the past few days, the convictions in the Gürtel case and the no-confidence motion against Rajoy have made us forget about the corruption case that affects the Catalonian independentists and Puigdemont. 

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In various occasions, we’ve mentioned the “3%”, without properly explaining what it is. Well, it is time to explain what this is all about. In a few words, it is the equivalent of the Gürtel case, but this time in Catalonia, and instead of the PP, it’s the independentist parties that are linked to the case.

The case of the 3 per cent concerns both the Generalitat of Catalonia, the pro-independence political parties CDC and CiU, Artur Mas, Pujol and maybe Puigdemont.

Like in the Gürtel case, the Generalitat of Catalonia granted contracts of public works to businessmen they knew (who usually were friends) and kept around 3% of the budget in exchange of the favour. This generalized corruption was first discovered in 2005, when a public complaint was made. In those days, the complaint was quickly archived, until recently. Since 2015, the case is being investigated and is still ongoing, with already multiple accused people.

The National Court has mentioned 23 people who will have to come to declare between the 11 and the 22 June. The judge in charge of this case is José de la Mata, who’s also in charge of the Pujol case. Between the people who will have to come to declare, there are businessmen and members of CDC of the time when the corruption took place.

Concerning Puigdemont, while he was mayor of Girona in 2013, he met twice with one the main accused people in the 3% case, the businessman Bassols. Other people from Puigdemont’s political entourage are also involved in the case, for various reasons, such as for handing out confidential information to the accused businessmen.

In 2010, another businessman donated around 400 000 euros to CDC, with the objective of obtaining contracts from the Generalitat.

Recently, the Catalonian government has awarded a new project to one of the companies linked to the 3% case, claiming that they can’t leave out companies just because of corruption. The project in question are the construction works of the tunnel of Glòries, in Barcelona. This project was stopped when Colau arrived to the government and was awarded to new companies. Some of the new companies were already condemned for paying commissions to CDC, and therefore suspicions are being raised about them possibly still paying the well-known “3%” to the independentist parties.

In any case, right now they are just suspicions, but it is clear that there are very few politicians capable of paying 75 000 euros of bail from one day to another, by just relying on “donations”. Yes, just as with the Gürtel case, we’ll have the proof in 10 years that the Catalonians are as corrupted (or more!) than the PP and Bárcenas, but right now, we can only observe how they waste public money, and how they manage to mysteriously pay huge bails in a few seconds.

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