Thursday, September 16

A report from the Santiago City Council suggests that the cathedral has not paid its main electricity bills since 1968


The price of electricity is not a problem for the economy of the Cathedral of Santiago. Galicia’s main tourist attraction has been dodging electricity company bills for decades thanks to an agreement with several administrations that decided to take over the main part of their supplies. A technical report from the Santiago City Council, which can be consulted at the bottom of this information, suggests that the temple has saved electricity bills for more than half a century, specifically since 1968. All by virtue of an informal agreement that allowed the church get hooked on the municipal lighting network paid by the municipality of Compostela. The pact would have started in the midst of the dictatorship, as suggested by the aforementioned report, and was closed orally in 2016, during the Government of Compostela Aberta. The government of the rupturist left gave the cathedral a courtesy time to update its contracts. The cathedral took that time and waited until 2018 to disengage from the public network. None of the above occurred on any written agreement. Everything had been agreed verbally and without records until a municipal employee decided to start investigating.

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In 2012, a municipal technician decided to prepare a report in which he reflected the results of his investigations. In that text, the content of which has been accessed by this wording, it is explained that the cathedral has three electrical supplies: one for the light that decorates the exterior of the temple at night (paid for by the City Council), another called “daily use” and paid by the archbishopric and a third party for interior lighting, whose payment was also assumed by the municipal administration. The technician asks in his report that these payments with public money be investigated and the need to support them on the municipal treasury be reviewed. The text, drawn up in 2012, came into the hands of the municipal corporation during the Government of the Popular Party of Ángel Currás. His immediate destination was the trash can.

Four years later, those responsible for the Government of Compostela Aberta (CA) asked officials for explanations about the cathedral’s hooks to the public lighting system. In response, they got the same document from 2012 that no one had paid attention to so far. This document is accompanied by a table that summarizes the electricity costs of the cathedral that the City Council assumed between 2009 and the first months of 2012. The account is as follows: 2009, 20,430 euros; 2010, 67,070 euros; 2011, 53,699 euros; 2012 (until March 15), 13,322 euros. As a result of this information, Councilor Xan Duro (CA) contacted the temple authorities to ask them to take care of their bills, but gave them a courtesy time to manage the new contracts. That time lasted until 2018, according to sources from that government tell this newsroom.

In conversation with this newsroom, Duro explains the situation as follows: “During our government rumors reached our ears about an alleged connection of the cathedral to the public lighting that depends on the City Council. We immediately requested a report and one that was already in place was sent to us. drafted since 2012. We then asked the technical services to investigate whether the assumption of these costs was supported by an agreement or agreement and, since the regularity of the event could not be verified, we indicated the need for the cathedral to have its own contract of supply and regularize your situation. ”

This writing has contacted the Catedral Foundation to obtain their opinion on the facts and ask how long they have not paid the largest bills for their electricity consumption. There has been no reply.

Now the Xunta pays. 205,000 euros until the end of the year

Now the situation is repeating itself: the Xunta has decided to pay for the supplies for the cathedral this year. By virtue of an agreement signed on July 14, the Government of Alberto Núñez Feijóo will disburse more than 205,000 euros until the end of the year. This time, the pack also includes electricity, water, gas and cleaning service. The agreement signed by the vice president of the Xunta, Alfonso Rueda, with the Catedral Foundation justifies the disbursement for security reasons. The concepts included in the agreement are the following: general services (cleaning, maintenance …) to guarantee security, 59,463 euros; supplies (electricity, water, diesel, insurance, etec) to guarantee security, 68,954 euros; other expenses for safe operation, 77,173 euros. Total: 205,590 euros of public money.

elDiario.es has contacted the Xunta de Galicia to ask how long they pay the temple bills and for what reason. The response of the vice-presidency of the Galician Government is as follows: “The Camino de Santiago is the main tourist attraction in Galicia at an international level and the Compostela cathedral, a world heritage site, one of the most recognized monuments in the imagination of tourists For this reason, in this Xacobeo it is important to offer the best image of Galicia to tourists and pilgrims with the adaptation of the tourist infrastructures “.

The Compostela cathedral is a private property of the church and the destination of thousands of pilgrims who, on the occasion of the Holy Year, travel to the city through the different routes of Santiago. The temple is also a place of worship and the end of the Camino de Santiago, a substantial business where visitors spend significant amounts of money to visit its premises.

Although the rehabilitation of many parts of the complex has been carried out by public funds, those responsible for the institution charge admission to those who want to visit their museum, or certain works of art such as the Pórtico de la Gloria or the roofs of the building. A common ticket to the museum is priced at six euros, 12 if it includes a visit to the rooftops. The most expensive pass is the one that adds a visit to the Portico, the rooftops, the Torre de la Carraca and the Palacio de Xelmírez. For this complete visit, the tourist must pay a total of 20 euros in the temple box. In addition to its lockers, the cathedral receives large amounts of money through brushes and lamps. Through the internet you can light candles online and accompany the gesture with the donation that is considered.

In addition to having the public checkbook for the payment of the main part of its electricity bills, the cathedral has enjoyed in recent months a significant private financial injection to pay for its new interior lighting design. The plan consisted of replacing all the lighting elements with 36 new lamps that have changed the internal appearance of the temple. Added to this is a new light design that operates directly on elements such as the transept, the ambulatory, the clerestory and the Pórtico de la Gloria. In this case, the invoice has been borne by the Iberdrola Foundation, which has incurred expenses that have risen to 800,000 euros.





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