Video: “Operation Ciudadanos” – the dark side of the Citizens party, in a documentary by EiTB

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup, Vilaweb

Photo: Albert Rivera (Credit: Vilaweb)

By Vilaweb Staff Writers
From 4th June 2018

The Basque Public television channel EiTB has broadcast a documentary called ‘Operation Ciudadanos: What’s behind them?’, examining the lesser known, darkest parts of the party led by Albert Rivera. The “’Podemos’ of the right wing” according to President of Banco Sabadell, Josep Oliu, in 2015. In just under an hour, the documentary speaks of the links that Ciudadanos (Citizens Party) have with the Ibex35 companies, through the Fedea foundation, the official think tank of the Ibex, where the major banks of Spain are represented, as well as Telefonica and ACS the constructor. Through economists Luis Garicano and Ángel de la Fuente, Ciudadanos are linked to Fedea, which has a direct representation of the Ibex.

Some of these large Spanish economic groups are part of the media groups which publish newspapers such as El País or the main private television stations, which have given over countless minutes of airtime to interviews with the leaders of Citizens and have published many editorials to promote the party of Rivera as an alternative to the PP and the PSOE. The documentary also talks about the support of the old guard of the PSOE, the “barons”, and people such as Aznar and Zaplana. The film also covers the ideological volatility of the party, which is sometimes presented as progressive, then as ultra-libertarian, in order to attract people lying to the extreme right of the political spectrum.

In addition, the documentary recovers the murky “Operation Libertas”, which served to bring Citizens to the European elections of 2009. Rivera took part in this extremist operation, formed by organizations of the extreme right and ultra-catholics, and chaired by Declan James Ganley, one of the main military contractors of the US government. Julio Ariza, president of InterEconomía, made a connection between Ciudadanos and Libertas. According to the film, it is estimated that Ganley offered between one and three million euros to Albert Rivera to share the candidature. Rivera nominated Miguel Durán to the top of the party list. And since they did not obtain any representation they did not have to show accounts regarding the financing they received.

The film also refers to doubts and the dangers in the opaque financing of Citizens, leaving aside the Libertas operation, there are doubts about the proportion of public money received by their municipal groups or departments in which they have representation, destined to finance the party.

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