The Diplomat. 18/05/2018
The serving diplomat Miguel Ángel Vecino has lodged a contentious-administrative appeal before the High Court of Justice of Madrid (TSJM) claiming the protection of his fundamental rights, for considering the resolution of 16 April, in which it was announced the distribution of positions abroad for the members of the Diplomatic Service this year, the so-called ‘bombo’ in the diplomatic jargon, to be “arbitrary and illegal” and after knowing that he was rejected for all the positions he requested for the fifth consecutive year.
The aforementioned resolution constitutes “a veiled sanction or reprisal”, according to the appeal accessed by The Diplomat. Vecino criticizes, in the first place, the appointment of Manuel Larrotcha, “cousin of the undersecretary” of the Foreign Ministry, Beatriz Larrotcha, for the position of consul general to Bogotá (Colombia), “whose professional experience is limited to two years and has no experience as a notary or in civil registry, knowledge key to any consular activity, only in migratory matters”.
Furthermore, the plaintiff criticizes the appointment, for the Consulates in Tétouan and Buenos Aires, of two diplomats “without any experience in consular affairs, in legal affairs, in the Ministry or abroad”, whereas two civil servants have been appointed for the Consulates in Marseille and Beijing “that do not have consular experience and do not even have a Degree in Law”, being graduates in Information Sciences and History, respectively.
As for the “legal qualification” that, according to Vecino, the consuls need to exercise their functions as notaries abroad, the plaintiff uses the law of the Notary Profession of 1862, according to which, in order to obtain and exercise the authority to attest documents it is “an essential requirement to be a doctor or graduate in Law”. Regulations of 1944 established that diplomatic and consular agents of Spain will have to exercise the authority to attest documents “always taking into account their personal conditions as regards qualification”.
Therefore, Vecino also claims the nullity of all those appointments of consul made in the last years in favor of civil servants of the Diplomatic Service that did not have “the necessary legal qualifications”.
Vecino asked to suspend the destinations in Zurich, Strasbourg and Lyon while the resource is resolved
The plaintiff notes “similar arbitrariness” in the awarding of the Consulates in Strasbourg (France), Zurich (Switzerland) and Lyon (France) since the three persons named were far behind in the seniority ranking of the MAEC, which is why he claims the court to adopt the precautionary measure of suspension of these destinations “because they are posts of immediate incorporation”.
The TSJM admitted the appeal last Monday and gave Foreign Ministry five working days to present their allegations, according to Vecino reported to The Diplomat. “This government demands respect for the Constitution, except Minister Dastis, who threatens to violate it and violates it”, he concluded. Vecino also prepares a complaint against the undersecretary for this same matter.