A small local bar in Seville has been uncovered as the meeting place where the heads of the Andalucian government would meet with their “backers” to receive payments in black. The payments were recorded as being for “Langostinos Maera” (Prawns from Maera) in secret accounting books discovered by an investigating judge and leaked to El Mundo newspaper today.
Casa Maera is a small and relatively unknown local bar & restaurant in Seville that had one outstanding feature – it was close to the homes of the rich and powerful in the city, and thus frequented by the most powerful people in Andalucia. It is alleged that the very top of the PSOE would meet there to receive payments from businesspeople, and “as a joke” annotated the cash payments in secret ledgers with the name of the restaurant.
The current President of Andalucia, Susana Diaz and her two predecessors, Gríñan and Chaves were often seen there. So was the previous Mayor of Seville (a PSOE member) and his vice Mayor in coalition from the IU. So was the boss of Fitonova, a company being investigated by a Judge for paying the Mayor vast amounts in exchange for large contracts to look after the parks of Seville.
Fitanova is alleged to have paid 126,000 euros in 2009 to the PSOE party and the Mayor of Seville in exchange for being awarded massive public service contracts to look after the parks of the city.
García Madera, the owner of the restaurant who was giving testimony this week to the judge investigating the case said his restaurant was a quiet and discreet one that took pride in looking after its customers, and didn’t encourage the normal tourists. “Everyone in the PSOE” went there he said (with a certain amount of pride, one imagines): Presidents Diaz, Gríñan and Chaves, the Mayor, the heads of the main Seville departments, and added that they often bought friends there for a meal. He claims that Gríñan took the Duchess of Alba there for a meal once.
Secret PSOE ledgers that are alledged to contain payments in cash to the Andalucian party appear to contain entries corresponding to cash payments made by Fitonova on the same dates.