Judge Fernando Luis Criado, head of the Barcelona Investigating Court number 17, has just summoned to testify as investigated four senior officials of the Ministry of Health of the Generalitat of Catalonia for the discrimination suffered by police and civil guards in that autonomous community during the vaccination process throughout 2021.
According to the order to which EL ESPAÑOL has been able to access, the magistrate opens the criminal procedure and decides that they give a statement before him Carmen Heads Penathen deputy director general of Health Promotion and later Secretary of Public Health; Sara Manjon del Solardirector of the area of Organizations and Professionals of the Catalan Health Service; Xavier Rodríguez GuaschDirector of Services of the Department of Health and Adriá Comella Carnicédirector of the Catalan Health Service.
This fact is known weeks after the Supreme Court confirms exclusive treatment of the regional Executive with the National Police and the Civil Guard during the pandemic. Reaffirming the ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia, the TS assured that the treatment of one and the other agents was totally different.
In the eyes of the Court, the resolution of the Catalan TSJ against the Generalitat contained “solid reasoning – evolution figures, dates of difference and rate of vaccination, effects of the precautionary measure, etc., to reach the ‘conclusion that The regional Administration did not have the same will and commitment in the health protection of the national bodies’“.
The agents of the National Police and the Civil Guard were thus recognized, through the contentious-administrative route, the discrimination they suffered. Now it is another court in Barcelona that is going to begin to investigate whether the senior officials of the Generalitat would have any criminal responsibility in the events, as a result of the complaint that the Professional Association of the Civil Guard JUCIL and the union of the JUPOL National Police, majority groups of both bodies.
Barely a year ago, months after the start of the vaccination campaign against Covid-19, the agents of the National Police and Civil Guard in Catalonia denounced that the Generalitat had immunized almost all Mossos d’Esquadra of Squadron while they waited for their dose.
The clamor among the State Security Forces and Bodies was unanimous, and they took the government of Catalonia to court for discrimination. Thus, at the end of last March 2021, of the 3,500 Civil guards in Catalonia only 200 had been immunized. As for the nearly 3,300 agents of the National Police, only a hundred. Therefore, only 4% of the agents had received the vaccine. Meanwhile, 80% of the Mossos d’Esquadra He had already been immunized.
After waiting for weeks for their doses, the last straw that broke the patience of the agents was the decision of the Ministry of Health to suspend Vaccination of agents under 60 years of age.
The Catalan Generalitat evaded its responsibility in such a way that the Ministry of Health decided to take charge of the campaign. In three months – from February to the end of April – they had barely provided the troops with immunity.
The situation reached such a point that the Ministry of Health had no choice but to announce that it was assuming las competences derived from Catalonia in the vaccination campaign after registering police and civil guard immunization percentages well below the Spanish average.
When this decision was made, the figures handled by the unions showed overwhelming data. At that time they had only been vaccinated 545 police officers out of more than 3,800 of the workforce in Catalonia and just over 600 guards among 3,500 troops stationed in this autonomous community.
For Pablo Pérez, national spokesperson for JUPOL, the opening of criminal proceedings is “good news” that justice is advancing in relation to the discriminatory treatment that the State Security Forces and Bodies received in Catalonia in relation to the Covid-19 vaccination process. “The progress of the judicial process makes us stronger and pushes us to continue fighting so that the inequalities and discrimination of the National Police and the Civil Guard in Catalonia disappear.”
It supposes, they insist, “one more step in our fight to end inequality, the unfair and unfavorable treatment suffered by our colleagues in those areassituations that endanger the work and personal life of our colleagues, and we will persist in this until we achieve economic, social and labor equality”.
Milagros Cívico, provincial secretary of JUCIL in Barcelona, has added that “the ruling not only proved us right, but also in the eyes of the Justice and society in general, it was substantiated that the Generalitat has avoided and failed to comply unquestionable their obligations by making excuses”.