20 October 2017 – El Confidencial
The political legacy of Baltasar Santos (pictured below), who served as the mayor of Navalcarnero for 20 years (between 1995 and 2015), is still taking its toll on the public coffers. According to the Ministry of Finance, Navalcarnero is the most indebted town in the Community of Madrid (and number 24 in the ranking for the whole of Spain). Each one of its 27,000 residents owed more than €3,700 as at the end of 2016. Then, the tax authority based its calculation of financial debt of €101 million, although the current Government estimates that the figure is more like €230 million. And that amount is expected to increase gradually due to the steady trickle of legal rulings that are going to be made against the previous Town Hall due to mismanagement by the former PP-party mayor.
The most recent ruling, issued by the Provincial Court of Madrid on 28 September, ordered the Town Hall to pay €2.8 million (plus legal interest) to around fifteen local residents and companies because the local Government, led then by Santos, sold them land that was not actually owned by the Town Hall (…).
This is the first ruling of its kind, but José Luis Adell, the current (socialist) mayor, expects that more will follow, unfortunately, against the Town Hall due to the “disastrous management by Santos” (…). We estimate that we are going to pay around €70 million in relation to these types of rulings, which will increase the municipal debt to €300 million (…).
Nobody knows where Baltasar Santos is now. He was expelled from the PP in 2015, after hiding from the party that he had been charged for several legal misdemeanours. Santos participated in the municipal elections that year with another political party, URCI (…) but resigned just a few months later, in October 2015, just like he had done previously. Nobody has replaced him. The Town Hall has created an investigation committee to analyse his management. Moreover, it has engaged legal counsel so that all of the irregularities that have been detected can be brought to justice and it has asked the Chamber of Accountants to audit Navalcarnero’s accounts for the financial years from 2007 until 2015.
Original story: El Confidencial (by David Fernández)
Translation: Carmel Drake