Dolors Bassa

Dolors Bassa i Coll (born 1959) is an educator, psychopedagogist and Spanish politician who held the position of Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Families in the Generalitat de Catalunya until Spain dismissed the Catalan government on 27 October 2017. She is known for her syndicalist career in the major Spanish trade union, Unión General de Trabajadores.[1][2] Since March 2018 she was remanded in custody, without bail, by order of the Supreme Court of Spain, accused of sedition and rebellion.[3] She was sentenced on October 14, 2019 to 12 years in prison for sedition, as being responsible for devoting several thousand public schools as polling stations in the 1 October 2017 referendum. She was freed in June 2021 following a government pardon.[4][5]

Dolors Bassa i Coll
Dolors Bassa i Coll
Counselor of Labour, Social Affairs and Families of Catalonia
In office
14 January 2016 – 27 October 2017
PresidentCarles Puigdemont
Preceded byFelip Puig and Neus Munté
Succeeded byChakir El Homrani
(Direct rule until 2 June 2018)
Member of the Parliament of Catalonia
for the Province of Girona
In office
26 October 2015 – 22 March 2018
General Secretary of Unión General de Trabajadores of Girona
In office
2008–2015
Local Councilor of Torroella de Montgrí
In office
2007–2015
Personal details
Born1959 (age 61–62)
Torroella de Montgrí, Catalonia, Spain
CitizenshipSpanish
Political partyEsquerra Republicana de Catalunya
Junts pel Sí
Alma materUniversity of Girona
Open University of Catalonia
ProfessionTeacher and psychopedagogist

BiographyEdit

Bassa was born in Torroella de Montgrí, Catalonia. She graduated in Education from the University of Girona in 1979 and later on, in 2007, she obtained a licentiate degree in Psychopedagogy from the Open University of Catalonia. She worked as a Catalan language teacher in Palafrugell from 1979 to 1986 and in Torroella de Montgrí from 1986 to 2015.[6]

As a politician, she started her career as a Local Councillor in Torroella de Montgrí for the Republican Left of Catalonia from 2007 to 2015. Bassa was also a member of the Generalitat's Vocational Training Council between 2007 and 2013, and also served on the steering committee of the Labour Services of the Generalitat (SOC) between 2006 and 2014.[7]

In 2000 she started her activities with the syndicate Unión General de Trabajadores, UGT. In 2008 she was elected as General Secretary of the UGT of Girona and held the position until 2015.[8]

During the 2015 Catalan regional election, Dolors Bassa was the sixth candidate of the pro-independence political coalition Junts pel Sí of Girona and was elected a member of the Parliament of Catalonia.

On 13 January 2016 she was offered the post of Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Families in the government of Carles Puigdemont. Dolors Bassa accepted the position the following day.[2] She was dismissed on 27 October 2017,[9] along with the rest of the Catalan regional government, according to Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, after being charged of several major constitutional infringements like declaring the independence of Catalonia.

ImprisonmentEdit

On November 2, Bassa was sent to prison in Madrid, where she shared a cell with her parliamentary colleague Meritxell Borràs. While behind bars, she “started helping some of the convicts to work towards getting a diploma or school certificate”. She also obeyed orders to clean the halls while Borràs cleaned windows. She said that some prison workers were surprised at their willingness to work: “They thought that we would act ‘high and mighty’ and they saw that it wasn't the case.”[10][11] On November 11, her sister, Montserrat, appeared before a crowd in Torroella de Montgrí and issued a dramatic plea for Bassa's release.[12]

In early December, the Spanish Supreme Court ordered Bassa's release and that of four other Catalan parliamentarians, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Carles Mundó and Raül Romeva, upon payment of 100,000 euros in bail apiece. Bassa had spent 33 days in prison, but still faced the possibility of a long prison term.[13][10]

Thirteen days after her release from prison, Bassa said she did not feel free. “I feel a threat hanging above me, because they can still ask for up to 30 years in prison,” she told the Catalan News Agency (ACN). She said she felt “afraid,” but was “proud” of her political career with ERC. While she planned to return to the Catalan Parliament, she said she would not accept a cabinet position. “After what I went through,” she said, “I don’t feel like it, my body is asking me not to.”[11]

She was re-elected member of the Catalan Parliament in the 2017 Catalan regional election, but on March 24, 2018, once the insufficient vote for the investiture of Jordi Turull as president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, she resigned as deputy, along with Marta Rovira and Carme Forcadell.[14] On March 23, 2018, the Spanish Supreme Court judge, Tribunal Supremo, Pablo Llarena sent her back to prison, together with the former Speaker of the Parliament Carme Forcadell and the deposed ministers Raül Romeva, Josep Rull and Jordi Turull. Llarena argued for unconditional provisional bail after considering that there was a risk of flight and reiteration of the crimes for which they were being prosecuted.[15][16][17][18]

On July 4, 2018, she was transferred to the Puig de les Basses Penitentiary Centre in Figueres. Since then, collective dinners and various support concentrations have been promoted in front of the prison to support her.

On February 1, 2019, she was transferred again to Alcalá-Meco, to attend the trial that was to start on February 12. She was charged with rebellion and misuse of public funds.[19] The trial ended and the court adjourned to deliberate on 12 June 2019, and she was transferred back to the Figueres prison.[20]

On 14 October 2019, she was sentenced to 12 years in prison and given a 12-year ban on holding public office. The verdict was delivered by seven judges by Spain's Supreme court, after a four-month trial that heard from 422 witnesses.[21][22][23]

In February 2020, Bassa was given permission to leave the prison for eight hours a day, three days a week, in order to take care of her elderly mother, as allowed by Article 100.2 of the Prison Regulation.[24]

Personal lifeEdit

She has two daughters.[13] Her sister is a member of the Congress of Deputies Montserrat Bassa, elected in the 2019 general election.[25]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Dolors Bassa i Coll". Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana (in Catalan). Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Dolors Bassa, consellera de Treball, Afers Socials i Famílies" [Dolors Bassa, Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Families]. Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals (in Catalan). 14 January 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  3. ^ Jones, Sam (2018-03-23). "Spanish court remands Catalan presidential candidate in custody". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  4. ^ "Freed Catalan leader calls on Spain to 'think about future generations'". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Freed Catalan Leader Junqueras Vows to Continue Working for Independence". US News. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  6. ^ Llobet, Àlvar (11 January 2016). "PERFIL Dolors Bassa, una mestra sindicalista a la conselleria de Benestar" [Profile of Dolors Bassa, a syndicalist teacher as a Counselor of Labour]. Nació Digital (in Catalan). Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  7. ^ Europa Press, ed. (13 January 2016). "Dolors Bassa, de UGT a Trabajo, Asuntos Sociales y Familias" [Dolors Bassa, from the UGT to Counselor of Labour, Social Affairs and Families]. 20minutos (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  8. ^ Puig, Oriol (5 August 2015). "Dolors Bassa dimitirà de la secretaria general de la UGT a Girona al setembre" [Dolors Bassa is going to resign as General UGT Secretary of Girona in September]. Diari de Girona (in Catalan). Girona. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  9. ^ catalunyadiari.com. "Dolors Bassa | Catalunya Diari". catalunyadiari.com (in Catalan). Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  10. ^ a b Dolors Bassa: ‘Després del que he passat el cos no em demana tornar a ser consellera’; VilaWeb; December 17, 2017; https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/dolors-bassa-sento-que-no-tinc-llibertat-despres-del-que-he-passat-el-cos-no-em-demana-tornar-a-ser-consellera/
  11. ^ a b ‘I feel like I’m not free,’ says minister after leaving prison; Catalan News; December 17, 2017; http://www.catalannews.com/politics/item/i-feel-like-i-m-not-free-says-minister-after-leaving-prison
  12. ^ L’emotiu vídeo en què la germana de Dolors Bassa demana la llibertat dels consellers; VilaWeb; November 11, 2017; https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/lemotiu-video-en-que-la-germana-de-dolors-bassa-demana-la-llibertat-dels-consellers/
  13. ^ a b Meritxell Borràs i Dolors Bassa, en llibertat després de 32 nits a la presó; Catalunya Radio; December 4, 2017; http://www.ccma.cat/324/meritxell-borras-i-dolors-bassa-en-llibertat-despres-de-32-nits-a-la-preso/noticia/2824974/
  14. ^ Rovira, Forcadell y Bassa renuncian a sus escaños por su procesamiento (in Spanish)
  15. ^ "El juez Llarena manda a prisión a Turull, Forcadell, Bassa, Rull y Romeva por riesgo de fuga". ELMUNDO (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  16. ^ Spain Catalonia: Clashes after separatist leaders detained
  17. ^ Spain Charges 13 Catalan Separatist Leaders With Rebellion
  18. ^ Catalan leaders remain in jail year after independence referendum
  19. ^ Congostrina, Alfonso L. (2019-02-01). "Catalan independence leaders moved to Madrid jails ahead of trial". El País. ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  20. ^ Trial of Catalan Independence Leaders Ends in Spain
  21. ^ Violent clashes over Catalan separatist leaders' prison terms
  22. ^ Catalan separatist leaders handed jail terms for independence bid
  23. ^ Sentencia del ‘procés’: penas de 9 a 13 años para Junqueras y los otros líderes por sedición y malversación (in Spanish)
  24. ^ "Bassa sale de la cárcel de Puig de les Basses para cuidar de un familiar". eldiario.es. 17 February 2020. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Montse Bassa, germana de l'exconsellera Bassa, candidata d'ERC per Girona el 28A". 3/24 (in Catalan). Sant Joan Despí, Barcelona, Spain. 9 March 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.

External linksEdit