Friday, March 26, 2021 – 01:54
The last audit report, raised to the plenary session in October 2020, warned of the “recurring” awards to related NGOs
The comptroller already notified Ada Colau in 2016 of the “recurring” aid to related parties that the Prosecutor is now investigating
The auditor of the Barcelona City Council issued a second warning to the Government of Ada Colau for the recurring subsidies to entities related to the mayoress that the Prosecutor is now investigating. In its a posteriori audit report for the year 2019, to which EL MUNDO has had access, the municipal intervention indicated: It must be taken into account that these subsidies have been awarded during various years since 2016 to subsidize the same project
therefore, its exceptional character does not seem justified. Among the multiple grants to which the official refers is one of 324,600 euros granted to the DESC observatory, the NGO that employed Colau before starting his political career. Intervention thus insisted on the
which he already transferred to the Colau Executive in 2016, when he also stressed that the exceptional nature of the subsidy does not seem justified because it has been repeated for years. After that first notice, the Government of Barcelona decided to sign a new collaboration agreement with the DESC Observatory in December 2018, by which it renewed the granting of aid both to this entity and to others such as the Platform for People Affected by Mortgage (PAH ) until 2020. It was as a result of this new award of grants that the controller issued a new warning. The second intervention report was submitted to the plenary session of the Barcelona City Council on October 30, that is, five months before the Prosecutor decided to investigate the aid to Colau friendly entities after admitting a complaint filed by the Catalan Constitutional Lawyers group. Even so, last December Colau extended another two years – until August 2022 – the aid worth another 324,600 euros.
Siege of the opposition
The investigation opened by the Public Ministry will have a full impact on the plenary session that is being held today in the Consistory of Barcelona. The opposition will demand explanations from the mayor, who continues to defend the legality of her aid, even after the notices that question the suitability of her award to finger have surfaced. According to municipal sources, the Executive of Colau will offer to prepare a report on the evolution of subsidies since 2014, the date on which
he began to subsidize the DESC Observatory and the PAH to try to appease the street protests that ended up overthrowing him. The leader of the
In this way, she intends to insist on the idea that it was the nationalist mayor who opened the door to recurring financing to his related entities before she landed in the City Council. According to the same sources, Colau has offered the PP to render an account through this report, after the
demand an external audit on the aid granted to NGOs in the political sphere of the Government of Barcelona. Last week, the Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office opened investigation proceedings to determine whether the mayor of Barcelona and other members of her team committed a crime by granting 3.4 million in grants to NGOs with which they have maintained professional ties. The complaint considers that there may be alleged crimes of prevarication, fraud in hiring, embezzlement and influence peddling.
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