Torremolinos PSOE leader grilled over connection to massive training course fraud scandal in ‘circus-like’ council meeting

LAST UPDATED: 9 Sep, 2014 @ 17:30
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Torremolinos PSOE leader grilled over connection to massive training course fraud scandal in ‘circus-like’ council meeting

THE head of the PSOE in Torremolinos is the latest politician to be dragged into the billion euro training course fraud scandal.

Councillor José Ortiz was grille over his connection to the fraud by Torremolinos’s mayor, Pedro Fernández Montes, in a council meeting.

The debacle led councillors from the Izquierda Unida  to march out of the meeting, labeling it a ‘circus’.

The corruption outrage – which involved hundreds of professional training courses – saw Andalucian officials take more than €3 billion of EU education funding.

The Junta has only now published a list of ‘companies’ the money went to, after months of media and public pressure. An incredible 70% are believed to have simply been ‘fronts’, while others padded out attendance lists with non-existent students.

At the Torremolinos council meeting, PP members demanded answers after it was revealed that Ortiz has a 21% stake in Centro Liber de Formación, a company that figures on the list of those exempt from documenting the use of EU job-training grants.

The opening motion – read out by Ramón del Cid, the PP’s municipal spokesperson – referred to subsidies cited in El Mundo which included €23,751  in December 2002, €44,697 in January 2008, and €38,466 in September 2009.

“Regardless of what may result from police investigations, José Ortiz, before the people of Torremolinos, has a moral obligation to defend his innocence,” the motion went on.

It stipulated that Ortiz simply had to prove the money had indeed been used for training, detail the course, teacher, and student names. He was also asked to clarify whether Yber Formación SC – Centro Liber de Formación’s previous name – had received further funding.

Ortiz defended the ‘absolute normality and legality’ of his actions while  accusing the mayor of trying to ‘manipulate reality’ for political ends.

The meeting was reportedly full of tension, interruptions and emphatically repeated exclamations of ‘it’s a lie’ from Ortiz.

The mayor put the meeting to an end by declaring: “What was said today is worthless to us because everything remains unclear.”

The motion calling for Ortiz to reveal the use of his funds was in the end only backed by members of the PP Municipal Group who were left none the wiser following this farce.

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14 COMMENTS

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  1. Spain is a circus-like country when it comes to its government. The Junta needs to be disbanded, investigated and replaced.

    “…exempt from documenting the use of EU job-training grants”

    There’s the first loophole. Surely Mr Ortiz can just show us his “training company” in day-to-day operation and its acounts? If he can’t do that, then he cannot be trusted.

  2. Fred, you are right, the Junta de Andalucia desperately needs to be disbanded, investigated and replaced and, I might add, at the very first opportunity.

    The question is, will anyone actually be stupid enough to vote for this lot again? They need to be removed from public office to prevent this from happening.

  3. Remove them from office by all means. But, who will replace them? Finding “honest” men (and women) in Spain, would be a search as frustrating as was that of Diogenes.
    Garzon and Gordillo are not a big enough team to turn Spain around, though I bet they would give it a go.

  4. More stories like this and the people have to wake up, PODEMOS just go from strength to strength off the back of these stories, the next elections in this countries will be very interesting

  5. 12 years here… And I’ve only met a small handful of mayors and politicians genuinely out to support their towns and region and not just their bank balances…and getting their friends and family jobs… The only genuinely honest councillor in Ronda was labelled ‘tonto’ (stupid)? Why? In his decade in politics he wasn’t rolling in it.
    For all his faults and crackpot campaigning, radical Marinaleda mayor Gordillo lives a humble life and does everything for his village.
    He told me he was sickened by Junta corruption and even half his own IU communist party…
    Podemos could be the answer.
    Either way, the Olive Press supports a total clear out at the Junta… Even after they try and shut us down!
    Everyone must ensure that 2/3/4 billion euros stolen by the regions politicians – has an appropriate punishment.
    Losing power would be a start.
    Remember all us expats can vote in the elections in May!!! Make your vote count!

  6. Podemus is a bunch of KOMMUNIST’s surprised that some people can support them. As we all know the biggest corruption on earth took place and are still going on in such countries.
    Corruption must be eradicated but Podemus is no the solution.

  7. Well said Jon.

    @KB
    No PODEMOS may not be the long term answer but at least it’s shaking things up. Maybe you should read through the manifesto before labeling them with such names. One thing for sure is a change is needed as the PP & PSOE and Junta are rotten to the core so at least PODEMOS are standing up to them

  8. Jon, the regional election is the one that really matters here (i.e. the one where you can vote the Junta out) but expats cannot vote in this election, only the council ones and they are far less important.

    Local councillors have very little power in Andalucia and the best example of this was in Alcaucin last November when the Junta de Andalucia wanted to demolish some more houses and ORDERED the council to back them. It was a case of vote in favour of revoking building licences or be removed from public office for life.

    Things are definitely hotting up now and could turn very nasty – I wouldn’t put anything past the Junta now that they are under attack and that includes shutting down this newspaper. That is their kind of democracy, the non existent variety.

    kb is right, how on earth can communism be the answer to anything? IU are communists and they fully back all the demolitions that have taken place in Andalucia – the woman in charge of the fast track demolitions department at the Junta de Andalucia is a communist.

  9. I would love to know my rights when it comes to voting as feel I have lived here long enough to make an educated decision.

    I have been a resident here with residencia for over 10 years, so what am I allowed to vote in: national, local, European elections?

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