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The president of Spain's opposition People's Party (PP), Alberto Núñez Feijóo, affirmed this Wednesday that the resignation of Antonio Cabrales as a director of the Bank of Spain is "correct" and pointed out that he has "some background that for many people is incompatible with being part of an organ of the state", in reference to the links with some figures from the Catalan pro-independence movement that supposedly led him to resign. The economist's decision came a few hours after the Governing Council of the Spanish central bank appointed him, in line with a proposal made by Feijóo himself. The president of the PP has now argued that he presented Cabrales as a candidate because he was a professor "with an unquestionable education" and "from an academic point of view" he met "the requirements that were demanded" of a Bank of Spain director. "Without it having been known that there some parts of his background that for many people are incompatible with being part of a state organ, thus it became known, and the interested party himself, understanding that he did not want to produce tensions in the regulatory body through his presence, submitted his resignation after a few hours," said Feijóo. "I think this resignation is correct," he affirmed.

The prestigious economist, current professor at Madrid's Universidad Carlos III and former head of economics at University College London, announced that he was submitting his resignation "in order not to make the country more tense", according to the newspaper ABC. "We need calm," Cabrales assured the media, although he did not give an official explanation. The Madrid newspaper El Mundo stated that his decision was related to the support he gave at specific moments to exiled Catalan education minister Clara Ponsatí, and to former Catalan economy minister Andreu Mas-Colell, prosecuted by the Spanish public auditing tribunal for the alleged misuse of public funds to promote the Catalan independence process.

The PP expects to find a new director for the Bank of Spain

At the PP, they express confidence in being able to find a suitable new candidate for the board of the Bank of Spain. Sources close to the party assure the EFE agency that they are confident of being able to appoint another director for the Spanish central bank's governing body. The resignation of Antonio Cabrales, according to these sources, was for "personal reasons". At PP headquarters, they deny that the new director was pressured to submit his resignation and, in this regard, they affirm that they were not aware that Cabrales had offered support to the pro-independence politician and academic Ponsatí.

The manifesto signed by Antonio Cabrales

Antonio Cabrales signed a manifesto that was published on April 16th, 2018, in which a large group of economics professors defended the former minister and professional economist Ponsatí against the threat of extradition. Specifically, 55 professional colleagues stood up for "the principles of democratic and non-violent political action" in the face of the accusations of rebellion and misuse of funds for the 1st October referendum, thus rejecting the judicial persecution of the exiled pro-independence leader.

Below, the manifesto signed by 55 international economists in 2018 in support of their professional colleague, the pro-independence Clara Ponsatí.