Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Latvia’s Anti-fraud Office denies Dombrovskis was bribed to back Catalan independence


Brussels (CNA).- Former Latvian Prime Minister, Valdis Dombrovskis, didn’t receive any bribe in exchange for expressing his support for Catalonia’s pro-independence process, Latvia’s Anti-fraud Office confirmed this Monday. Thus, the argument of Spanish magazine ‘Interviu’ which assured that Dombrovskis received 6 MEUR for defending Catalonia’s political aspirations in an interview with the CNA in 2013 couldn’t be proved. Dombrovskis, who was Latvia’s PM at the time of the interview, stated then that his government could recognise an independent Catalonia “if there is legitimacy in their process” and defined the 400-kilometre human chain which showed the people’s support for Catalonia’s independence in 2013 as “a powerful signal” which was “worth paying attention to”.

According to the ‘Baltic News Network’, the ongoing investigation couldn’t prove the alleged payment of 6 MEUR to the European Commission’s current Vice president and former Latvian Prime Minister for backing Catalonia’s pro-independence process in an interview with the CNA in 2013. This confirmation refutes the ‘Interviu’ story published in February last year, in which the magazine accused the Catalan Government of bribing Dombrovskis in exchange for expressing his support for Catalonia’s political aspirations, citing a Spanish police report.

Thus, Latvia’s Anti-fraud Office concluded that there are “no reasons to open a judicial process” because “there is no proof of a bribe”, explained the body’s spokeswoman, Laura Dusa.

Dombrovskis backed Catalonia’s independence in an interview with the CNA

In September 2013, Dombrovskis, who was still Latvia’s Prime Minister at the time, granted an exclusive interview to the CNA. When asked if Riga would recognise Catalonia if it were to become independent, he stated “if there is legitimacy in their process, then I would say, theoretically, why not”. The Latvian PM believed then that Catalonia should “look at options” on how to successfully resolve the demands for independence.

Dombrovskis also referred to the ‘Catalan Way towards independence’, the 400-kilometre long human chain which gathered 1.6 million people who called for independence on Catalonia’s National Day, in 2013. He considered it a “powerful signal” that is “worth paying attention to”. The chain, which spanned Catalonia from north to south, was based on the ‘Baltic Way’ that took place in 1989 when Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were calling for independence from the USSR.

  • latvian_prime_minister_interview_acn

  • The Prime Minister of Latvia, Valdis Dombrovskis, interviewed by the CNA (by A. Segura)