Without going off script. This is how the passage of the Minister of the Interior, Joan Ignasi Elena, through the Parlament could be defined to account for the thirty dismissals in the Mossos d’Esquadra, which the opposition describes as a “purge”. “No one has been purged, in the Mossos there is a lot of internal mobility,” Elena defended.
Elena arrived at the Interior Commission when aftershocks of the earthquake caused by the dismissal of the major of the Mossos d’Esquadra, Josep Lluís Trapero, and the mayor Toni Rodríguez, the head of the Mossos in charge of corruption investigations, are still being felt. The Minister has rejected that the changes respond to an attempt at political interference in the Catalan police and has compared the criticism to “insinuations that have no basis other than wanting to question the impartiality of the work of the Mossos d’Esquadra”.
Elena has spent more time in her initial speech talking about Rodríguez than about the major, of whom she has limited herself to expressing that “he was the most suitable person to direct the body during the time he directed it”. Regarding the dismissal of the former head of corruption investigations after only six months in office, Elena has said that changes of destination are “something that usually happens” in the body and has argued that sending Rodríguez to the Rubí (Barcelona) police station “it is not a punishment” but “a very relevant police challenge”.
According to Elena, the “accusations of covering up corruption don’t make any sense”, and she has given several reasons for it. Two are completely subjective and political: his “personal commitment” against corruption and also that of ERC, the party that proposed him for the position, because “in 90 years he has not had any cases of corruption.”
In addition, Elena has remarked that the praxis of the entire Mossos anti-corruption unit “is characterized by the secrecy of its work and its agents”, and has praised the new chief, Mayor Ramon Chacón, for “his managerial ability, leadership capacity and dialogue”. “Police work cannot receive any political instruction on who should be investigated,” he added.