NO end in sight for El Algarrobico

After the uproar yesterday about the proposed 100 million euro payment by the Ministry of the Environment to Azata, the owners of El Algarrobico hotel in Carboneras, the Ministry (which, remember, is central government in Madrid, not the Junta de Andalucia, who seems to have washed their hands of the matter) has hastily backtracked.

They have announced the the price of 100 million was set some months ago after an independent firm surveyed the installations and ground (known as a tasación in Spanish), but this survey was for “orientation purposes only”. They further said that the agreement announced yesterday with Azata was simply that they would offer to buy the whole installation to speed everything up, and that Azata agreed to this, but that no price had been set. The Ministry has now ordered a new tasación be carried out, probably mid September, and said that it expects to pay only a fraction of the 100 million previously quoted.

Azata is, understandably, annoyed, and accused the Ministry of simply trying to hide the fact that central government doesn’t have enought cash to pay the previous valuation. It also said that it cannot understand how the Ministry expects a second survey to come to a different conclusion from the first, as nothing has changed and the prices are set by an independent panel of experts. Azata concluded that it hoped that the Ministry would “play by the rules” but that it would not accept a substantially lowered valuation.

Meanwhile, the whole sorry process is still going through the courts, and the Junta de Andalucia says that it will not take a decision until the courts have decided upon the legality of the hotel. However, Manuel Chaves, President apparantly for life of Andalucia, did publically say a while back that the hotel was illegal and will never open, so hopefully his subordinates will be too scared of embarrassing their lord and master to do anything but knock the blasted thing down.

In conclusion, if Azata accepts the Ministrys’ offer, central Government will buy it and knock it down. If they don’t, it’s up to the Junta de Andalucia to keep pressing the matter through the courts until a final, binding decision is made. Which could be a while, the way things are going.

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