Archive picture of Andreu Mas-Colell (right)

The President of the European Academy, David Coates, has withdrawn his support for former Catalan Minister of Economy, Andreu Mas-Colell, due to the complaints expressed by Spanish members. Coates has apologized to the members of the European scientific organization for sending an internal email asking them to sign a letter of support. Coates now says this was “rushed and inaccurate”.

Andreu Mas-Colell, the man who was in charge of finance and budgeting in Catalonia’s government from the economic crisis after the 2008 crash until January 2016, has received a wave of international support as he faces a 2.8 million euro fine from Spain’s Court of Auditors. The Court’s persecution includes summoned numerous Catalan government figures from between 2011 and 2017, including exiled presidents Carles Puigdemont and former president Artur Mas, over foreign policy expenditure supposedly linked to the independence reeferendum.

“New information makes it clear that the issue only concerns national authorities and does not affect the academic field” said Coates, after obtaining the report of Spain’s Court of Auditors. Thus, the President of the European Academy considers that the entity should not take a position on this issue. The shift comes as a result of complaints from “many” Spanish members of the organization, including the Spanish government’s professor and former Secretary of State for Energy, José Domínguez Abascal, who criticized: “I want to express the strongest opposition and condemn the use of the European Academy to question the rule of law in a democratic country that is a member of the European Union”.

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