A second Finnish member of parliament has asked his government to clarify the murky waters surrounding the dismissal of the country's consul in Barcelona last month, following Spanish pressure. The case which has now been raised again by Mats Lofstrom, MP for the Åland Centre party, relates to Albert Ginjaume, honorary consul for Finland in Barcelona and a leader of the Barcelona consular corps, who was sacked in February, after the Spanish foreign ministry persuaded the Finnish authorities to end his appointment, as they considered him a sympathizer with the independence cause.
"Spain asked Finland to fire its consul for having lunch with a democratically elected mayor of a town that had supported independence", tweeted Lofstrom. He considers that it is a "reaction without proportion" and for this reason, has posted a formal question for the Finnish government about the issue. The lunch was with Mercè Conesa, leader of Barcelona's provincial administration,or diputació, and mayor of Sant Cugat del Vallès.
"It is not normal for a democratic government to sack an honorary consul for having different opinions", explains the deputy in a statement. Moreover, he adds that "a democratic state should not prohibit meetings with politicians who have been chosen by the people: the Spanish reaction is totally disproportionate, independently of the Catalan situation."
Spain asked Finland to fire its honorary consul in Barcelona, #Catalonia because he had lunch with a democratically elected mayor of a town that had supported independence. A reaction without proportion. I posted a question to MFA @Ulkoministerio about it. https://t.co/fJpnDxrYXb— Mats Lofstrom (@matslofstrom) 17 of March 2018
This is not the first time that a Finnish MP has asked for explanations of this affair. Parliamentarian Mikko Kärnä also asked the Finnish Parliament about the same matter. He was told by the Finnish foreign ministry that "improper behaviour" by diplomatic personnel was "primarily an issue of the sending state":
Foreign minister of Finland mr. Timo Soini says, that improper behaviour of diplomats is primarily an issue of the sending state. How do you think that went with our honorary consul of #Barcelona mr. @marianorajoy? You demanded his resignation without proper reason. #Catalonia pic.twitter.com/pA73hWv7Sl— Mikko Kärnä (@KarnaMikko) 16 de març de 2018