The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, learned that his cousin had been involved in the mask contract reading elDiario.es. The alderman has appeared this Thursday at the Villa de Vallecas District Board to defend the character of the council as a victim in all this and to ensure that a week ago he did not know that his relative had been the first to contact the businessmen: "I I know that my cousin has been able to intervene in the contract as a result of the information published by elDiario, what we do that same week is a documentary analysis”, said the mayor.
A Ferrari, a Lamborghini, Rolex and a yacht: the loot of businessmen with the mask commissions in Madrid
In his appearance, Martínez-Almeida has defended that at that time, March 2020, the international market was a "jungle" in which the City Council was moved by a single interest: to obtain protection material for essential personnel. “If you tell me that after knowing what has happened, we would make a contract so that two people luxury cars will be boughtWe wouldn't," he said. "I also say that I defend the actions of all City Council technicians during those days," he added.
The Madrid councilor explained that Luis Medina Abascalone of the entrepreneurs now charged, contacted his cousin through a person they both knew. And she has reiterated that her cousin gave her an email that was used to centralize the contracting processes for material in an emergency situation. He has stated, as a novelty, that there are two emails: There are two emails from Luis Medina to the general coordination mailbox of the mayor's office on March 18 and 19. That is the way, like so many, that he had to come into contact with the City Council. We had more than 1000 offers during those days”, he added.
To questions from this newspaper, the mayor has specified that he does not know if these emails have been delivered to the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office throughout their information requirements. In those emails, he adds, Medina "provides his mobile number" and there begins his contact with the senior Treasury official who has testified before Anticorruption.
The mayor also insists that Luis Medina did not have a friendly relationship with his cousin, but rather contacted him through an intermediary person, contrary to what Anticorruption stated in his complaint. “It is difficult for there to be a friendship relationship when he does not know if the relative is a brother or a cousin,” he says, referring to a interview offered this Thursday by Medina to El Confidencial.
Regarding the intervention of his cousin, Almeida denies that it is an intermediary: “It cannot be identified as an intermediary that a mutual acquaintance tells him that there is a person who can supply medical supplies and that he wants to contact the city council, and this person say that there is an email box, it is difficult to understand that there is intermediation”, he says. In addition, she has highlighted that after more than a year "neither he nor I have been summoned."
Citizens ask for audits
The deputy mayor for Citizens, Begoña Villacís, has appeared separately after the mayor, and not jointly as usual. "The logical thing is that we appear separately today, it is very important that the city council stays out of all the news that is being given and preserve the institution," she said. "I have no reason not to believe him," she added about the explanations that Almeida gave a few minutes earlier in the same room.
The deputy mayor of Madrid, after rejecting that in this situation she is going to break the government coalition she has with the Popular Party, has announced that her party demands the implementation of two audits: an external audit since, she says, "it is clear that the controls have failed”, and a second audit entrusted to the Chamber of Accounts.
Villacís has closed the door for now to break the municipal coalition. “That scenario is not on the table”, he has said about a possible departure of the Madrid executive. Neither promote a motion of censure: "It is not on the table, with the data that we know it does not proceed."