Tuesday, February 20

The opposition to Almeida in Madrid demands “urgent” explanations for the millionaire commissions of health contracts

More Madrid, PSOE and the Mixed Group consider “very serious” the information published exclusively in elDiario.es about the investigation opened by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office for the alleged collection of millionaire commissions by two businessmen who mediated in the purchase of sanitary material with the City Council of Madrid in March 2020, during the worst moment of the pandemic and a few days after the state of alarm was decreed. In total, there were six million euros in commissions for contracts that totaled 11 million between the two.

The Government of Almeida: “We collaborate with the Justice, we are the first interested in clarifying it”

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Rita Maestre, spokesperson for Más Madrid, has reacted first on Twitter, lamenting that “other businessmen” are “taking a slice of the public in the worst of the pandemic.” “Another PP administration involved. 6 million 6! in commissions to intermediaries. Almeida has many explanations to give: we will get to the end, ”she has written.

In subsequent statements, the spokeswoman for Más Madrid has advanced that they have already registered the request for an extraordinary plenary session for the mayor to appear urgently. And they have also requested that the board of directors of the Funeral Company from where the contracts were channeled, “which are signed by Almeida, who is the one who has to show his face,” meet, she recalled.

In Maestre’s opinion, the information in elDiario.es is “very worrying” and “deplorable for Madrid’s interests.” “There is nothing more deplorable than some businessmen putting the saucepan to cover themselves with the misfortune of others in the worst of the pandemic. And I also believe that it is being shown that there is a form of government in which friends, family and circles of the PP do not miss an opportunity and are never wrong when it comes to putting down the saucepan”, he lamented.

“We have been loyal and offered ourselves to Almeida to alleviate and resolve a situation that was going to be very complicated for everyone and in exchange for that what we have found is opacity, Spanish friends and businessmen, not Chinese, who have kept public money ”.

“The mayor lied when he said that there were no judicialized contracts”

Maestre has assured that he has many questions to ask the mayor, among others, “when did you find out about this case and why did you not act and did not appear in the case”; and “why he did not inform the plenary session of the City Council”. But, above all, “why did he lie when Más Madrid and I directly” -added Maestre- I asked him if there was any judicialized emergency contract from the Madrid City Council “, and he answered that there was not.

The spokeswoman for the main opposition party has revealed that her group also asked the mayor the same question in writing and that the answer they received just a few days ago assured them “that there was no judicialized contract and we had nothing to worry about.” ”. “That is, a lie that can be condemned taking into account that it has the obligation to respond with the truth to the opposition.”

Mar Espinar, spokesperson for the Socialist Municipal Group of Madrid, has also summoned the mayor to return from Seville and summon the Board of Spokespersons “urgently” and make a public appearance to give explanations. “The people of Madrid and this institution do not deserve the treatment that the mayor is giving this City Council”. “The mayor has to face the citizens and the rest of the groups, it is not worth that he is in the Congress of his party. That he return from Seville and give explanations because what has been published is very serious, ”Espinar has claimed.

“Almeida has to decide what he is going to do, but he is showing that this City Council has plenty”. “The Madrid City Council cannot be constantly in the media due to cases of corruption”, the socialist spokeswoman has settled.

In addition, he has pointed out that “the PP cannot hide behind itself by saying that the purchase of medical supplies was unanimously approved by the board of directors at the worst moment of the pandemic.” “The board of directors – Espinar has pointed out – was only aware of the company from which it was purchased, which was Malaysia, the amount and the headquarters where this company was located. Of course, he had no knowledge of the commissions that were involved in that administration contract. Here the question is whether these commissions have also been distributed among members of the municipal government”, he later dropped.

“Every time they are badly given, it is shown that the mayor uses the public service as a tool to get a slice.” “The Madrid City Council can no longer stand this absence of a mayor that only manifests itself when it comes to benefiting his own party”, he has settled.

For her part, the spokeswoman for the Mixed Group, Marta Higueras, has once again summoned Begoña Villacís —deputy mayor of the capital, from Ciudadanos— to present a motion of censure against Almeida because she believes that if there were already sufficient reasons with the case of the alleged espionage on Ayuso, the Anti-Corruption investigation revealed by elDiario.es aggravates his situation. In the opinion of Higueras, the current City Council “looks” more and more like the stage in which the PP was led by Esperanza Aguirre.

Anti-corruption investigation

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office is investigating millionaire commissions obtained by two businessmen who mediated in the purchase of sanitary material with the City Council in March 2020. The investigation is still trying to determine how one of those two businessmen, Luis Medina Abascal, son of the Duke of Feria and Naty Abascal, contacted the position of the City Council that during those days was struggling to close contracts to acquire protection equipment against the virus.

Anti-corruption has kept investigation proceedings open since the end of 2020 to follow the trail of six million euros (for two contracts totaling 11 million) that went to the two intermediaries who facilitated the arrival of masks and antibody tests from China to protect the personnel who worked in emergencies at the Madrid City Council. Until now, investigators suspect that the commission obtained by Luis Medina Abascal is around one million euros, while another businessman friend of his, Alberto Luceño Cerón, managed to pocket five million in the same operation, sources close to the investigation have revealed to elDiario.es. research.

In a statement issued by the Madrid City Council after the publication of the information from elDiario.es, the local executive led by José Luis Martínez-Almeida has acknowledged the existence of the investigation and the delivery of all the documentation required to the Justice . The Madrid council has stated that it is the “first interested in knowing if there has been any crime with these contracts” and that, in addition, it is “providing the maximum collaboration with the Justice and will continue to do so until all the facts are clarified” .