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Prosecutor investigates Ada Colau for granting 3.4 million euros to ‘chiringuitos’ to which she was linked

The complainants considered that the mayor and people from her team delivered these grants “repeatedly and unjustifiably.”

Ada Colau in a file image

The Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday opened investigation proceedings to determine whether the mayor of Barcelona, ​​Ada Coplau, and other members of her government team committed a crime by granting 3.4 million euros in grants to entities with which she has maintained personal and professional ties, such as the PAH or the DESC Observatory. The Catalan Lawyers for the Constitution entity presented this complaint considering that there may be alleged crimes of prevarication, fraud in hiring, embezzlement and influence peddling, and refers to subsidies from the City Council to the DESC Observatory, to the Platform of People Affected by the Mortgage (PAC), the Alliance against Energy Poverty (APE) and the Enginyeria Sense Fronteres (ESF) association.

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Along with Colau, the complaint was filed against former councilor Gala Pin, Deputy Mayor Laia Ortiz, municipal advisor Vanesa Valio, councilor Laura Prez, and the director of the DESC Observatory. However, the Consistory responded that these are subsidies that are already granted during the previous term, that of Mayor Xavier Tras (CiU). The complainants point out that these subsidies “are part of a continuity and regularity that is completely opposed to the term of exceptionality or extraordinary” and that they were allegedly used to avoid an open tender or a competition to grant them.

“It is a recurring and annual subsidy, which, however, has allegedly been granted by direct appointment, and outside of any principle of public competition,” indicate the complainants for what they consider to be “a disguised way of overcoming the free competitive competition of other entities and free bidding “. In addition, they point out that the aid was delivered for purposes over which the Barcelona City Council lacks powers and against the criteria of the municipal auditor, because it was improperly granted through exceptional procedures.

Colau Response

Regarding this complaint, the mayor of Barcelona, ​​Ada Colau, recalled that the municipal subsidies to the PAH and the Desc Observatory come from the mandate of the former mayor of CiU Xavier Trias and that the Government of BCom and PSC limited itself to renewing “an agreement that already exists “. In Rac1, Colau added that the Secretariat and the municipal legal services maintain that “there is nothing unfavorable” in the award, although there is a general comment from the auditor that recalls that the grants should be awarded by public concurrence or by consolidating the budget whenever possible. . Asked if she should resign if she is prosecuted, she said that if the judge finally investigates them formally they will already analyze how to act, and added: “I don’t think there is any cause because they are regulated subsidies.”

In addition, Colau has assured that Catalan Lawyers for the Constitution have already taken them to court other times and that it is an association that “has stood out for making very political complaints.” In that sense, she said that the fact that her government has “positioned itself very strongly against speculation in the city” has generated political adversaries, and that both she and councilors have received complaints that have later been shelved. He also highlighted that the consistory allocates more than 80 million euros annually to social entities in subsidies and that during his tenure he has launched initiatives to limit direct subsidies from the mayor: “We have formalized the circuit of granting subsidies a lot”.

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