Read in Catalan

France, Belgium, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Mexico and the USA. This is the list of countries where the Spanish government has hired communication agencies to try to improve and maintain the country's reputation internationally. This is expressed in the Spanish government's response to a set of questions posed by Basque party EH Bildu deputy Jon Inarritu.

In late October 2019, it was announced that the Spanish embassy in Washington had paid 15,000 euros for a month's work to an American communication agency to improve Spain’s image in the USA facing Catalonia's bid for independence. Now, it has been known that contracts of this kind were signed "more or less simultaneously" in six more countries through the respective embassies.

Although the cost of these campaigns is not known, the Spanish government assures that they are "similar contracts, with the same duration and the same purpose". They also add that this type of contracts "are not uncommon in the Spanish state's foreign action" and that they focus on many different areas.

At that time, the person in charge of Spain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was Josep Borrell, the current head of European diplomacy, and protests against the Catalan independence trial verdict were on the media spotlight.

"The [Spanish] government has hired communication agencies to improve the image of Spain not only in the US but also in Belgium, Switzerland, the UK, Germany, France and Mexico. — Jon Inarritu


"Complicated times"

Santiago Cabanas, the highest authority in the diplomatic mission, explained the details first-hand to Spanish correspondents. Cabanas asserted that the aim of the project was to "strengthen our communication policy in times that we expected to be complicated" and to obtain "a diagnosis, an external view" of Spain’s image in the USA in the face of different challenges. And he added: "It is true that the secessionist narrative has reached some parts of this country."

Now, however, the Spanish government describes Spain’s image in the USA as "very positive", but that does not mean that they should stop “finding ways to strengthen the image of Spain and to promote a better understand of the reality of Spanish society”. In this regard, they limit the agreement to the goal of "reinforcing the relationship with American media and opinion leaders".

Here is the full response from the Spanish government to Jon Inarritu. The explanation focuses on the agency hired by the Spanish embassy in the US, and states that this a normal practice. At the end of the letter it notes that "similar contracts were signed, more or less simultaneously, with the same duration and objective, through our embassies in France, Belgium, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, and Mexico":


pagina 1 resposta govern espanyol ambaixades 

pagina 2 resposta govern espanyol ambaixades