The secretary of state of Spain's Treasury, José Enrique Fernández de Moya, has ordered public sector bodies of the Catalan government to provide information about payments or grants awarded since 2015 to some sixty people, entities, media outlets and businesses, among whom are the new candidate for president, Jordi Sànchez, fellow detainee and former president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart and the former president of the Association of Municipalities for Independence, Neus Lloveras.
The order, sent to Catalonia's general comptroller, Rosa Vidal Planella, explicitly asks for information on "all payments made" for "any reason". Everything suggests that the department, headed by Cristóbal Montoro, is continuing its search for evidence which would suggest that the Catalan government invested public money in the independence process, evidence which could form the basis for charges of a possible crime of misuse of public funds.
The document, published by Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, asks the Catalan government to identify the specific people, be they "civil servants, public employees or authorities", responsible for the payments in the question. The information has to be provided to the Treasury before 10am on 12th March.
The list includes media and communications firms like Mediapro and the newspaper Ara. Also included are various individuals and companies linked to the newspaper, like comedian and columnist Toni Soler, journalist Antoni Bassas, journalist and writer Xavier Bosch, and the businessperson Ferran Rodés and the Agrolimen group, owned, like Ara, by the Carulla family,
Beyond the request for information about businesses, there is specific focus on payments to specific individuals, for example, Oriol Soler Castanys, founder of Grup Cultura 03, one of the people behind Ara and linked to the Catalan National Assembly and Junts pel Sí.
Also appearing are the Catalan-language history magazine Sàpiens and the Catalan journalist and editor Eduard Voltas, former editor of the magazine and current CEO of Time Out. The also cite the newspaper Contrapunt, the Plataforma Pro Selecciones Deportivas Catalanas and bodies like. Procés Constituent, Sobirania i Justícia and Súmate.
Second information request
The Spanish government has already ordered a report from Rosa Vidal, in which she had to give details on expenses incurred by the Catalan executive to carry out the referendum. Vidal replied that she found no record of any expense form charged to the budget money set aside for popular consultations.
Based on this report, the Spanish government admitted that their Catalan counterparts hadn't spent any public money on the referendum. Nonetheless, the Treasury continues to look for other possible ways public money might have been misused.