Cancel the rescue to Plus Ultra and proceed to re-enter the
53 million public funds committed. This is what the non-law proposal that Vox has registered in the Congress of Deputies pursues and with which it urges the Government to settle a controversial business rescue that, according to the parliamentary group, fails to comply with most of the requirements demanded by the authorities European countries to be a recipient of public funds. According to the registered text, to which ABC has had access, the group claims to “declare, after a report from the State Council, the nullity of the agreement” by which the green light is given to the rescue of Plus Ultra, “when the beneficiary company fails practically all of the
applicable eligibility criteria»To operations with the possibility of being redeemed by the Fund.
The document, signed by the deputy spokesperson for Vox in Congress, Macarena Olona, requires “to claim from Plus Ultra the immediate return of the 53 million euros received as temporary public support from the Fund to support the solvency of strategic companies.” According to the group’s complaint, despite the Government’s insistence to the contrary, the airline’s Spanish status is in doubt. “The part of the non-Spanish capital stock of the supposedly Spanish company amounts to at least 56.80%,” the letter states. “This determines the breach of European regulations so that the airline can be considered Spanish and, consequently, that it cannot keep the Spanish operating license granted by the State Agency for Aviation Safety”, he continues.
Vox also highlights the weak financial situation of the airline and recalls that one of the conditions to be rescued with public money is “not to constitute a company in difficulty as of December 31, 2019». Plus Ultra, as this newspaper published, “has never presented annual accounts with positive results since its foundation in 2011. In 2016 they began operations and, since then, it has dragged accumulated losses of 10.6 million euros”, reads NLP.
In addition, several financial entities refused to give loans to the company, as Plus Ultra points out in the annual report, Vox recalls. That also affects the doubts that exist around the airline funding sources that, “in addition to some minor financing contracts, in 2017 it only obtained a participative loan of 6.3 million euros from the Panamanian company Panacorp.”
In addition, Vox doubts another of the main arguments of the Government to support the operation: the
“strategic” character from the airline. The Executive defends that “the company employs 345 direct workers, considering the indirect jobs generated by its activity of more than 2,500 jobs.” But Vox doubts such figures and asserts that “no further explanation is made on which centers such employees are located in or which of them are in a situation of temporary suspension of employment.” Furthermore, recalls the training of Santiago Abascal, “the employment data provided by the Government contrasts with the fact that Plus Ultra only had available on March 9, a single plane, a 17-year-old Airbus A340-300 model, on a rental basis, which would remain parked since last January ».
Vox also doubts about the airline’s ability to recover from the severe blow inflicted by the pandemic. “It is doubtful that the airline has demonstrated its viability in the medium and long term – another of the requirements to access public support – when it has never been viable,” he says. Which, in the medium term, also overshadows the
chances of recovering these public millions. 43. In this regard, and taking as a reference a repayment period of seven years, the company should obtain an average net profit per year of approximately 7.5 million euros. “Taking into account that the year with the highest turnover (2020) yielded a profit before tax of -3.5 million euros, that its accumulated losses were more than 13 million euros and that the airline sector is being one of the hardest hit by the crisis, it is highly unlikely that Plus Ultra will be able to reimburse any amount, ”the letter provides.
In addition, although Vox recognizes that, for the moment, there is no record that Plus Ultra has been firmly convicted as a legal entity for any of the crimes of prevarication, bribery, embezzlement of public funds, tTrafficking of influences, fraud and illegal exactions or urban crimes, as required by the law, it does refer to different processes that are being investigated.
Thus, Vox claims that the Council of Ministers “must initiate the ex officio review procedure of the aforementioned agreement to declare the radical nullity” of the granting of the rescue of 53 million euros to an “economically unviable airline, irrelevant in strategic terms and suspected of ties to tax havens and with genocidal regimes ”.