The admission for processing by a Barcelona court of a complaint against the mayor of Barcelona for allegedly having given a favor treatment to related entities has once again put on the table what has been one of the main criticisms that have been leveled against the leader of the commons since she took office in June 2015, that of favoring through subsidies and direct aid groups that are close or directly linked to the mayor, as is the case of the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH).
In this case, the complaint is filed by the Association for Transparency and Democratic Quality (ATCD) for the alleged commission of the crimes
prevarication, contracting fraud, embezzlement of public funds, influence peddling and prohibited negotiations, a complaint now admitted and that comes after a complaint was filed last March, in this case with the Barcelona Provincial Prosecutor’s Office. for the same facts. The file, four months later, by the public prosecutor’s office of this complaint, presented by the entity Catalan Lawyers for the Constitution, has now led the mayor to disqualify the current procedure. Despite the fact that the Prosecutor’s Office considered then that there was no cause to take the case to criminal jurisdiction, in its filing order it was forceful in pointing out the irregularities, also pointed out by the municipal intervention, when processing the files.
Specifically, the Prosecutor’s Office was clear in pointing out that both Ada Colau and the rest of the denounced mayors violated article 23 of the law of the Legal Regime of the public sector that imposes the “duty of abstention” of the authorities and the personnel of the administration in those decisions that affect people, companies or entities with which they have a relationship. In particular, the law points out, if they have had “a service relationship with a natural or legal person directly interested in the matter, or have provided professional services of any kind and in any circumstance or place in the last two years.” It is obvious that such are the circumstances in the case of Colau and his councillors.
“It is public knowledge relationship of those reported with all or some of the entities receiving the subsidies analyzed», points out the Prosecutor’s Office in relation to the aforementioned Colau and the former mayors included in the complaint, among others those now with high responsibilities in Congress in the orbit of Gerardo Pisarello or Jaume Asens. «Ada Colau had a relationship with the Observatory of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Desc) and the Platform of People Affected by Mortgages (PAH), of which she was spokesperson for five years; Gerardo Pisarello was a member of Desc and a collaborator of the PAH; Jaume Asens was a member of Desc…”, continues the Prosecutor’s Office, certifying the relationship between the defendants and the entities suspected of receiving handwritten subsidies, among which are also the Alliance against Energy Poverty (APE) and Engineering without Borders (ESF). )
For the public prosecutor, the mayors who fulfilled the double condition of members of the municipal government and collaborators of the entities “should have complied with the duty of abstention.” Despite this, and contrary to the criteria of the complainant entity, “the breach of the expected duty of abstention (…) does not open the door, without further ado, to criminal law”, pointing out the Prosecutor’s Office that it should be the contentious jurisdiction- The administrative body is responsible for controlling the actions of the municipal government.
Both in the complaint filed in March with the Prosecutor’s Office and the complaint now admitted for processing, the concept of “public interest” is questioned in relation to the subsidies granted, since, the complainants assure, practically all of the aid is used in organizational costs and employee salaries, actually generating covert and continued hiring. Similarly, and on this basis, the concept of “public interest” It is even more questionable if the activities of the beneficiaries are taken into account, it is noted in the complaints. Among these objectives in which the entities worked were: the violation of human rights in Jerusalem, the strengthening of organizational capacities and incidence La Toglla-Quito, the strengthening of capacities in the province of Inhambane (Mozambique), the development of participatory methodologies for citizen empowerment based on improving the network of municipal markets in this same African city, or compost and environmental education in Maputo, by ESF.
In response to these complaints, the mayor Ada Colau has reacted by assuring that they have a political nature, pointing out that the only thing that is known about the complaining entity, the ATCD, is that at the time it presented amendments against the participation regulations for the municipalization of the water and filed a complaint with the Valladolid City Council for the same reason. Thus, Colau framed the complaint within the framework of the open war waged by the Barcelona City Council with the Agbar company for its unsuccessful attempt to achieve the municipalization of the water supply service in Barcelona, one of the flags of its mandate. .