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Corruption Real Estate

Spain News : National Last Updated: Oct 22nd, 2006 - 11:06:33


Real Estate Corruption Update
By h.b.
Sun, 22 Oct 2006, 10:55

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Deputy Prime Minister, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, speaking to the press last Friday - Photo EFE

The Deputy Prime Minister, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, has announced a policy of zero tolerance against real estate corruption across the country as the cases continue to grow.

One of the large real estate promoters who is implicated in the Caso Malaya in Marbella, Fidel San Román, has now been linked to the project in Ciempozuelos in Madrid where land was being reclassified for the building of some 5,000 new homes, and the Socialist mayor, Pedro Torrejón, has now resigned as a result. Torrejón and the previous Socialist mayor, Joaquín Tejeiro, are now known to have opened an account in Andorra for the money proceeding from their real estate dealings.

The Deputy Socialist Spokesman in the Madrid regional parliament, Ruth Porta, has said her party is giving evidence to the Real Estate Prosecutor, on two deals which were carried out the region and which allegedly benefited the family of the region’s president, Esperanza Aguirre. Los Gil de Biedma are alleged to have made more than eight million euros in Tres Cantos in just three years following the reclassification of rustic land, and two million over six years in Villanueva de la Cañada.

The Socialist party has so far sacked three mayors from the party in Madrid for their implication in real estate irregularities, and has been making calls for the Partido Popular to do the same. There are currently six cases where PP Mayors are being accused of building irregularities.
Luis Díaz Alperi, and the PP councillor Juan Zaragoza, are accused in Alicante of the embezzlement of six million euros in Mercalicante.
Carlos Fabra, the President of the Castellón Provincial Government who is being investigated on charges of fraud.
Maria Anotonia Torres, PP councillor in Telde, Gran Canaria, who is accused of the use of privileged information and the fraudulent collection of commissions.
Celso Perdomo, ex Director of Industry, for irregularities in the awarding of wind farm contracts on Tenerife.
José Manuel Medina, PP Mayor of Orihuela, who, with five other councillors, is accused by the anti-corruption prosecutor of perversion of the course of justice and on other charges.
Pedro Angel Hernández Mateo, Mayor of Torrevieja, accused of the traffic of influences linked to purchase and sale of a finca.

The Murcia Chief Prosecutor, Manuel López Bernal, is also investigating the Murcia Government, where a friend of councillor is reported to have purchased land in a protected area of Águilas and then resold it at triple the price after reclassification. Trinitario Casanova Abadia has, according to the El Pais newspaper, made 75 million Euros in two years.

And there have been more developments in Catral, Alicante, where the media now realise that an Orihuela judge ordered the provisional archiving of the denucia against the building of illegal houses in the municipality. It came on September 26th, just a week before the regional PP government decided to take town planning responsibilities away from the Socialist Town Hall because of the case. The regional government says that 1,270 houses have been built illegally on land close to the El Hondo park, with the councillor Estebán González Pons, saying that 80 million € black money was generated in the case.

In Seville, the regional coordinator of the Environmental Prosecutors, Luis Carlos Rodríguez León, has said they are repeating their demand that any irregularly built property across the eight provinces of Andalucía be demolished. He said it was the obligation under law to order demolition, but up to now judges have been reticent to order such drastic action.

The construction of 240 villas close to the tenth century city Medina Azahara, near Córdoba, could lead to the historic site not being granted the distinction of Heritage of Mankind by Unesco.

The ex Prime Minister, José María Aznar, is now known to have purchased an attic in an illegally built urbanisation in Marbella in 2005. The building, Hoyo 15 in Guadalmina Baja, goes against the 1986 Urban Plan, and is part of an estimated 30,000 illegally constructed homes in Marbella.

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