In an unusual move, Alex Mas, Professor at Princeton University, has made public the serious trouble his father Andreu Mas-Colell is confronted with:
To raise the public attention on this case, Dora Costa, Professor of Economics, UCLA has started a petition with Tribunal de Cuentas, which I have also signed. To support this, please consult the below:
“We are deeply concerned about the fate of Professor Andreu Mas-Colell, a well-known and highly regarded Spanish economist, in the current proceedings of the non-judicial Tribunal de Cuentas.
Following the global financial crisis, Professor Mas-Colell, formerly the Louis Berkman Professor of Economics at Harvard University, Editor of Econometrica (one of the top journals in economics), and Secretary General of the European Research Council, headed Catalonia’s department in charge of finance and budget during one of the worst recessions in history. He retired in 2015.
The Tribunal alleges that the Catalan government used public funds to promote Catalan independence, and specifically the 2017 referendum, abroad. However, in the 18,000+ page documentation of accusations sent to Professor Mas-Colell (and to which he was given only ten days to respond in writing), his connection is not specified. We understand that there will be no trial. Rather, the Tribunal simply has the power to hand down a penalty. Any appeals can take years and in the meantime the accused will have to put up a financial guarantee for the full amount of any imposed penalty. Because the penalty could exceed the combined net worth of all accused individuals, Professor Mas-Colell faces complete and arbitrary expropriation without due process.
Those of us who have known Professor Mas-Colell for many years as colleagues, students, and co-authors, know him to be a man of the utmost integrity. He is also known to be a man devoted to the public good, as evidenced by his returning home to start a new Spanish educational institution, and his willingness to serve in governmental positions both in Spain and in Europe. Spain was extremely fortunate that an economist of Professor Mas-Colell’s abilities and stature was willing to devote himself to its public service.
The Tribunal’s actions will also have important ramifications for Spanish economic growth. The best and the brightest can conclude that they should not enter public service.
We believe it essential that Professor Mas-Colell be afforded full due process in these proceedings. We respectfully ask that the Tribunal clearly specify its charges against Professor Mas-Colell and provide evidence of his direct connection to any illegal activity. If no specific charges can be made and no direct connection can be established, we respectfully request that the charges be dropped.