More Madrid, PSOE and the Mixed Group of the Madrid City Council have made public their conclusions this Friday on the work of the investigation commission of the alleged espionage on Ayuso, which closed on May 9 with the appearance of the mayor, José Luis Martínez-Almeida . In them, they agree that the mayor “lied” by assuring that when he was informed of the facts, he launched an internal investigation to find out if those “rumors” were true – as he described them – that they had tried to hire detectives private to spy on the environment of the president of the Community of Madrid. They also accuse the mayor of “boycotting” the work by putting up all kinds of obstacles to prevent the majority of the PP leaders from appearing, who could have been key to clarifying the facts. One of the most notable absences was that of the former coordinator of the Mayor’s Office, Ángel Carromero, who presented his resignation when the scandal broke out but was actually fired by Almeida without the reasons being known. His testimony was essential to know the truth. But Carromero kept the entire commission in suspense and in the end he stood up the groups.
The case gave rise to the greatest crisis that the PP has suffered in its entire history and to the defenestration of its former president, Pablo Casado, and almost all of its leadership. Neither Casado nor the other party leaders called to testify, such as Teodoro García Egea, or Pablo Montesinos, wanted to attend the commission. Neither did Isabel Díaz Ayuso herself, who was the one who denounced the events.
The Mixed Group, led by Marta Higueras, for its part, insists that it is necessary to promote a motion of censure against the Almeida government. The only opposition group that has not wanted to present conclusions or recommendations has been Vox, which has indicated that in the opinion of its councilors the investigation commission has been “in a political hunt from the beginning”, coinciding with what it has denounced the mayor himself and the PP. Sources from the far-right group assure: “what we believe is the technical positions that have declared that there was no use of municipal resources.” “This has been the ‘Commission of Nothing’”, they say.
More Madrid will seek the “greatest consensus” to present joint conclusions
The main opposition group, Más Madrid, highlights in its report on the investigation commission that “the mayor has not acted with the due diligence committed by himself to allow the testimony of even those who were high-ranking officials of his government to be heard. ”. In this sense “it must be concluded that all possible obstacles have been put in place to know the truth,” they say. And they highlight “the reprehensible behavior on the part of the councilor for housing and president of the EMVS, Álvaro González, and Mobility and Environment, Borja Carabante”
For Más Madrid, Álvaro González “hid relevant information about the facts and the investigations that he was following from both the Board of Directors and the Ethics Committee of the housing company.” They also consider that “Carabante clearly exceeded his functions and powers, personally participating in the meeting at the headquarters of the EMVS, dependent on the Delegated Area of Urban Development, and participated in the interrogation of an employee of this public company.”
In their opinion, those of Rita Maestre not only highlight “Almeida’s attempts to hinder this commission”, but also “the boycott carried out by members of the PP, including senior government officials, or people as relevant to this investigation as Carromero or Ayuso or his brother, by not coming to testify.” They also highlight “the contradictions of the different testimonies and the reprehensible behavior of some councilors who have clearly exceeded their functions.”
Although Más Madrid believes that there was no hiring in the EMVS to spy on Ayuso because the controls prevented it, they consider that they are left without knowing if there has been one in the EMT or in the coordination area of the Mayor’s Office since the City Council has not sent them the documentation they required.
The councilor of Más Madrid, Miguel Montejo, has pointed out, however, that it is an “open” opinion, advancing the predisposition of his group “to negotiate” with the rest of the opposition -except Vox- “to reach the greatest consensus possible and that the document that is finally approved in plenary has the maximum possible support”.
The PSOE requests that it be mandatory to appear before the investigation commissions
In the PSOE they consider it proven that “the mayor finds out that, by the City Council or some Municipal Company, an attempt has been made to hire a detective to investigate Isabel Díaz Ayuso’s environment.” It also takes for granted that Almeida “initiates an investigation in which he acknowledges having used municipal means for an exclusively private matter of the PP.”
However, the Socialists emphasize that “the testimony of the 24 people who have not appeared would have clarified the terms of the investigation that the mayor orders to be carried out by the City Council, the EMVS and the EMT.” In addition, they think that the resignations of Ángel Carromero, former coordinator of the Mayor’s Office, and David Fernández, who was head of press for the Housing area and the dismissal of Joaquín Vidal as director of Almeida’s communication, “confirm that the plot existed and that the mayor conducted an investigation using City Hall means.”
“We know a part of this internal investigation”, say the socialists in their letter, recalling that “at the headquarters of the Department of Housing, the Management Committee of the area meets, with the assistance of the Delegate Álvaro González and the incorporation of the mayor Borja Carabante at the end of the meeting in which Diego Lozano and David Fernández (Álvaro González’s advisers) are questioned about whether the EMVS has commissioned detective Julio Gutiez to investigate Ayuso’s brother.
The Mar Espinar group believes, in short, that “the non-appearance of active members of the PP, the resignations of Ángel Carromero and David Fernández and the dismissal of Joaquín Vidal confirm that the plot existed” and that the mayor “carried out an investigation using City Council media. In addition, it highlights “the contradictions between members of the municipal government and management personnel and eventually have revealed that they have lied in a pertinacious and obstinate way.”
In their recommendations, the Socialists ask that “the City Council prepare regulations that oblige municipal personnel to testify in the Investigation Commissions”; and that “non-compliance with this regulation will cause the dismissal of temporary personnel and the opening of disciplinary proceedings against civil servants and labor personnel.”
Madrid recovers insists on a motion of censure against Almeida
For their part, the three councilors of the Mixed Group also believe that the PP “has tried again to make partisan use of public institutions, in this case the Madrid City Council”, for which they ask to “remove the PP councilors from any responsibility of government”, “as the only way to prevent these dynamics from continuing to occur by activating, to do so, a motion of censure backed by the vast majority of councilors present in plenary who flatly reject this type of practice”.
Those of Marta Higueras believe that the internal investigation announced by Almeida “did not take place and the mayor lied when he said that it had been done.” One of the appearances that stands out is that of Ignacio González “who reported that espionage within the Popular Party is a common practice, a form of pressure to obtain political gains, precisely what was sought with this alleged espionage.”
In its letter, Recupera Madrid agrees with the PSOE in that “the commission has had a fundamental problem from the start and that is that the main people involved in the espionage case decided not to attend, which has prevented their testimony from being heard.” Among them, they cite Isabel Díaz Ayuso, “who denounced the case”, they remember. “This succession of non-appearances makes it practically impossible to clarify anything.” However, they point out that there have been “two testimonies that have shed some light on the matter. Those of Javier Segura Fayos, a member of the mayor’s office, and Ignacio González, president of the Community of Madrid after the resignation of Esperanza Aguirre between 2011 and 2015”.
Almeida insists that the opposition had its sentence “written”
While the municipal groups made their writings known, the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, insisted on accusing the opposition of “having written the conclusions of the espionage commission before it started”.
“They had the conclusions written from the beginning. As they knew that there was nothing, that there was no commission, no public money or irregularity… Almeida assured this Friday before participating in the inauguration of the Book Fair.
“As they knew there was nothing, that there was no order, no public money or irregularity…”, said the councilor of the consistory. Almeida considers that the opposition has ignored the reports of the Ethics Committee only to be able to “defame and lie”, instead of transmitting “tranquility” because, as he insists, “there has been no espionage or irregularity”. “But this is too much to ask for an opposition installed in recent months in the mud and mud,” added the mayor.