Sunday, October 17

The small print of the Government of Almeida and Nacho Cano: a hired plot in advantageous conditions for the artist

It has not been decided that Nacho Cano’s project for his theater in the district of Hortaleza, northwest of Madrid, is an Aztec pyramid of 29 meters and nine floors. It can be a tent. The first information about the project spoke of a gigantic vertical demountable stage in four years for 1,300 spectators, which the founder of Mecano would temporarily build on a site of the City Council for 11 million. The shape of the container that will house the musical with which Cano intends to pay tribute to the figure of Hernán Cortés and which will receive the name Malinche, in honor of the indigenous woman who accompanied him during his conquest of the Aztec empire, is a mystery. Like almost everything in the project of the musician who invites the president of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, to spend the summer in his mansions.

“The exterior finishes will be for decoration. The final image of the project is still under study. In fact, it is not yet known whether it will be a pyramid or a tent. It is an image of an infographic that is not yet final,” said the delegate of Urbanism, Mariano Fuentes, in a interview on Cadena SER this Friday.

What is confirmed, although the competent authorities ignore everything else, is that Nacho Cano will make use of a 19,500-square-meter macro-plot that the Government of José Luis Martínez-Almeida gives him without public tender, for four years. That is known and that the composer invited the district councilor Alberto Serrano, from Ciudadanos, to one of his houses nine months before to sell him the project. He replied that since everything was going to be a thematic show, including the food, that he tried to include ham as well as Mexican dishes to promote fusion. The video of the explanations, broadcast by Más Madrid, went viral. And seen the chufla on social networks, now the official version is that the pyramid and some bizarre details of the project are up in the air.

Those that are not in the air are the conditions of the advantageous deal that the Madrid City Council has made available to a musician with decades of good relations with the PP of Madrid. The project file, accessed by, confirms that there was no contest and that the Government of Almeida has chosen to provide facilities for the Nacho Cano show to go ahead. The Madrid City Council has decided not to charge 2,500 square meters of the 19,500 meters of the future complex. It is about 13% of the land that, according to Cano, will be used for green areas. His request demanded that this part of the site not be computed “for the purposes of paying the canon.” The Madrid City Council accepted.

“According to the request for temporary occupation of the plot, the occupation corresponding to the 2,500 m2 of the plot destined for park during the occupation period is not valued in this report,” the file states. The Department of Urbanism justifies the discount to, arguing that green areas “do not count because they do not have profitable use, they do not entail economic exploitation.”

It is not the only transfer from the municipal government in the ad hoc process for the artist. The City Council has also responded to another of their requests: not to charge a fee for the duration of the works to install the theater, which Cano’s team has estimated at nine months. That is, the public lot will be occupied for four years and nine months, but Cano will only pay for the four years that the show is being represented. The local corporation has not responded to Cano’s request to lease the land to a third party.

Parking will be cheaper

The fine print of the contract establishes what the Mecano composer will pay for 17,000 square meters: 454,102 euros per year, 1.8 million in total. According to the file, for the calculation of that amount, the Madrid City Council distinguishes the surfaces according to the use that Cano’s company will make of them and divides them into two: 7,000 square meters for the stage and the stands and 10,000 more than will be used for parking, which will have 400 spaces.

In this sense, the municipal government decides to charge different amounts for each of these surfaces and the result is that Cano will pay less for the 10,000 square meters destined for parking than for the 7,000 where he will host his show. The artist must pay for the four years of the operation of the stage 1.1 million, while the amount for the parking area, of 3,000 square meters more, will be 710,893 euros for the four years. The Madrid City Council calculates this amount based on the cost of a surface parking space in Hortaleza: 37 euros per space and multiplies it by 400 (the number of spaces the car park will have).

Change in bail

Another change that can be seen in the processing of the file is a modification in the calculation of the deposit that must be paid to the municipal coffers. It is a guarantee that ensures that the condition of the plot returns in the same conditions to the Madrid City Council as when it was transferred. For example, it is not the local corporation that has to disassemble the stage when the term ends, among other issues.

The municipal technicians initially set, on December 17, 2020, the bond that Nacho Cano’s company – MALINCHE THE MUSICAL SPAIN SL – had to pay a total of 884,339.96 euros (VAT included) for the use of the land, according to a report from the general direction of Urban Management of the Madrid City Council included in the hiring paperwork. “This guarantee responds to the correct state of the plot that must be presented at the end of the occupation authorization, amounting to the amount of 884,339.96 euros (VAT included), in accordance with the valued relationship that is attached”, collects The document.

Just three months later, on March 14, 2021, the same department made a new calculation that reduced that amount to less than half. Finally, Cano’s company must pay 437,810.89 euros (VAT included) as a guarantee.

The official explanation is that it was the municipal technicians themselves who decided to make the reduction after on March 1, 2021 “the promoters” contributed “a new Project in which new constructive solutions are proposed in order to facilitate the reversal of the land to the current state and that therefore the economic amount of the actions for this purpose is less onerous “.

Reviews of Más Madrid

The councilor of Más Madrid Miguel Montejo has been one of the councilors of the City Council of the capital who has dived the most in the file. The spokeswoman for the formation, Rita Maestre, has no doubts that the entire operation represents “a major scandal, typical of the governments of the PP in Madrid and the corruption to which the people of Madrid are accustomed.”

The shadows that surround the entire process of this project are joined by the good relationship that the president of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso maintains with the former member of Mecano. The popular leader already awarded the composer a few months ago one of the greatest distinctions in the region: the Grand Cross of May 2. And the musician took advantage of the event to praise the leader of the PP, kneel before her and congratulate her, on behalf of musicians, technicians and businessmen in the sector, for her management in the face of the pandemic. There were two days left for the elections. Three months later, in August, Ayuso spent his holidays with the singer in a villa he owned in Ibiza.

“They go on vacation and a few weeks later, surely not by chance, they receive [Nacho Cano] the use of a municipal public plot in the middle of August without any type of public tender and without, therefore, other businessmen being able to present their cultural and business projects so that there is a committee to decide, “laments Maestre.” It is an award to finger a businessman who has very close ties with the PP, “he recalls. Cano’s relations with the PP do not begin with Ayuso.

The spokeswoman for Más Madrid and leader of the opposition in the capital also considers that the project presented by Cano “does not correspond to any need in the Hortaleza district, a huge pyramid more than 30 meters high with an associated macro-park.” Time will tell if it will be a pyramid or a big tent.

“What they told me is that Nacho comes to lose money in Hortaleza. He has been working on this project for more than 10 years and is very excited,” admitted in a district plenary session of the Citizens Councilor Alberto Serrano. The reason why an artist puts on a show to “lose money” is perhaps the penultimate mystery of Nacho Cano and his controversial musical.