ALMOST €5 million of public money will be paid out by Orihuela council to compensate a firm that had a waste disposal contract illegally removed from them in 2007.

A majority of councillors voted at a plenary meeting for the authority to pay €4,747,388 to Urbaser, after a Valencian Supreme Court ordered the payment in 2011.

The council payout will be funded by an ‘extraordinary loan’.

Opposition PSOE councillors abstained in the vote that was taken yesterday(September 24).

Orihuela’s PSOE leader, Caroline Gracia said: “We have had to pay for the corruption and bad decisions of previous administrations.”

Urbaser had originally sought €10 million with the council lodging a series of appeals over court rulings.

Urbaser’s contract award was withdrawn 13 years ago and the new franchise went to a consortium that included companies owned by local businessman, Angel Fenoll, who was accused of bribing key officials.

Fenoll, along with two ex-Orihuela mayors and 31 other defendants, stood trial in what was branded as the ‘Brugal‘ case, but everybody was acquitted in June.

Prosecutors have since lodged an appeal for a fresh hearing.

The Partido Popular are the largest party on Orihuela council and were in charge in 2006 and 2007 when the waste disposal scandal took place.

Orihuela’s PP finance councillor, Rafael Almagro, said: “Decisions made in 2007 were poor ones that have financial consequences.”

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