The Spanish government has sacked at least 252 employees of the Catalan administration, as part of its direct rule of Catalonia under article 155 of the constitution. The state has also imposed the use of Spanish language in the Catalan government, according to summaries published this Wednesday by the website servidors.cat, a collective of Catalan public servants.
Among those who have been formally dismissed by the Spanish state are not only the president Carles Puigdemont and his ministers, but also the next ranks of officials: from secretaries-general to general directors, as well as many of those employed for specialist or short-term purposes.
The Spanish state's action has been particularly harsh against the bodies representing the Catalan government abroad, which appear to have been a priority for the Rajoy government. The official Catalan representatives in many foreign countries have been sacked: in France, the UK, Germany, the US, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Poland, and Croatia; as well as those at bodies in Geneva, Madrid, and the EU. In addition, the staff of these foreign representatives, as well as staff of Catalonia's Diplocat network, which has been dismantled, have lost their jobs; in these two categories, a total of 55 jobs have been removed.
The public servants' website regards as particularly serious the dismissal of the Catalan representative to the EU, Amadeu Altafaj, because his removal implies that "neither the work of representation, defence and promotion of the interests of the Catalan government, nor that of supporting Catalan entities and companies, can be carried out". The website's summary also points out that the documentation from the closed down offices abroad was forcibly transfered to Spain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and this entailed high economic costs. At the same time rental contracts have had to be cancelled, and in some cases this entailed the payment of compensation or extra months' rent for the period of the contract.
A second issue is the forced linguistic shift of the Catalan government to strict use of the Spanish language in areas where previously both Catalan and Spanish could be used, since according to servidors.cat, the state has required that internal documents of reports to be approved by the Spanish Cabinet - in substitution of the bilingual members of the Catalan government - now have to be written in or translated to Spanish. And it has also ordered that internal documents addressed to the figures who have replaced Catalan government leaders are either translated to or composed in Spanish.