April 11, 2021

The Court of Accounts uncovers additional costs of 7.6 billion in 13 AVE stations | Economy

The Court of Accounts uncovers additional costs of 7.6 billion in 13 AVE stations | Economy

The works to build 13 AVE stations in other Spanish cities they accumulate an extra cost of 7.637 million euros, according to reveals a report of the Court of Accounts made public this Thursday. The audit warns that the cost of the urban agreements carried out by the so-called Public Railway Integration Societies, known by the acronym SIF, has increased by 186%. The initial cost of these agreements was 4,102 million euros and at the end of 2016 the Court of Accounts has calculated that it already reached 11,738 million euros.

The report analyzes the SIFs of 13 Spanish capitals: Alicante, Almeria, Barcelona, ​​Cartagena, Gijón, León, Logroño, Murcia, Palencia, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria and Zaragoza. To finance lUpon arrival of high-speed rail to these cities Agreements were signed between the different Administrations and instrumental societies were created, called SIF, with 50% participation of the central Administration, 25% of the autonomic and 25% of the local one. The railway infrastructure and the urban actions were going to be financed with the urban development of the lands freed from their railway use.

After 8 to 18 years of its constitution, the cost of these agreements has grown by 7.637 million euros, mainly due to the modifications of the initial projects. The Court of Accounts denounces that these projects were described in the agreements "in a generic way". "All agreements have been deficit," says the report. So much so that it has had to liquidate the SIF León Alta Velocidad, sign addenda not to execute pending actions in Zaragoza, sign a new agreement in Valladolid, agree to new agreements in Gijón and Alicante, the delay of performances in Vitoria, Palencia , Almeria and Cartagena, etc.

Executed only 30%

Another of the things that the Court of Auditors discloses in its audit is the degree of execution that the actions in the 13 cities presented: 29.4% on average. Within this figure there are big differences. In the agreements of Almeria, Murcia, Vitoria and Cartagena, no 2% of the planned amounts were executed. On the other hand, in Zaragoza, 87% was touched. Except for this city and Logroño (57%), none of the actions contemplated in the agreements reached 50% of the predicted.

The largest increase in cost compared to the initially quantified is that of Barcelona, ​​with a 547% increase. Against the 335 million euros provided for in the initial agreement, by the end of 2016 that amount had already risen to 2,167 million. By then the works of the station of Sagrera, in the Catalan capital, were practically paralyzed since 2014 as a result of the irregularities detected in the execution, who investigated the Office of the Prosecutor and later a court. The companies responsible for the construction of the Sagrera station are accused of overcharging.

Alicante (396%) and Cartagena (282%) are the other two cities with large increases. On the other hand, Almería (30%), Vitoria (27%) and Palencia (30%) are the ones that experienced the least increase. Agree with agreements with low degree of execution.

The Ministry of Development presented some allegations to the report, which are included in the publication. They are signed by the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, Pedro Saura, who recalls that the business plans of the SIF failed due to the real estate crisis and the slowdown in the execution of the actions due to lack of resources. Saura also assures that the previous Government began in 2017 to modify the agreements to endow them with "realistic financing".


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