The Government of Aragon found works of Plaza certified unfinished and overpriced for a total of 104 million

Posted on June 17, 2018

 

The Minister of Public Works, Urban Planning, Housing and Transportation of the Government of Aragon, Rafael Fernández de Alarcón, found after reaching the presidency of the Board of Directors of the public company Plataforma Logística de Zaragoza (Plaza), in 2011, certified works without finishing and “inadequate price revisions” for a total of 104 million euros, according to a report.
 

The Minister of Public Works, Urban Planning, Housing and Transportation of the Government of Aragon, Rafael Fernández de Alarcón, found after reaching the presidency of the Board of Directors of the public company Plataforma Logística de Zaragoza (Plaza), in 2011, certified works without finishing and “inadequate price revisions” for a total of 104 million euros, according to a report.

He was the first to appear this Wednesday before the Investigation Committee of the Cortes de Aragón on the management of this public company, in a day in which also will appear the deputy mayor of Zaragoza, Fernando Gimeno, and the rest of the current members of the Advice.

Fernández de Alarcón has expressed that the new legal team has found contracts of sale whose clauses “did not seem to us the most convenient for the economy of the society”. He has disagreed with the 104 million euro certification, noting that “inadequate” price revisions have been carried out.

“Apart from unfinished works, there were works at higher prices, above what I owed or price reviews insufficiently justified.”

The head of Public Works and the rest of the Council considered that it was an “obligation” to carry out checks “when we had evidence that the complaints received from third parties could be true”, a process that “has not been pleasant and we would have liked to avoid” .

He pointed out that not all the pending certifications were made and some were not signed by those who habitually fulfilled this task. As an example, he commented that a video surveillance service had been hired that cost three million euros and that “it was not over”.

In his opinion “the modified -of contracts- has been used above the limits”, an example of which is that there are some first contracts initially valued at 70 million that later cost more than 200.

The counselor has continued stating that the audit of the General Audit of the Autonomous Community for 2011 “was not too relevant” and “does not seem to determine anything positive”, insisting that the Council has always been informed of important reports .

In another vein, said that the managers of the Intecsa-Inarsa advisory company “do not work and do not propose anything” since October 2011, so the current manager of Plaza, Jesus Andreu, has tried to collaborate with the current advice, contacting the management in Madrid and Canada. The resolution of the contract is in process.

Fernández de Alarcón explained that in October 2011 he received a debt of more than 150 million euros that could bring the company into bankruptcy, so “it was necessary to renegotiate the short-term debt with exclusive guarantees from the Government of Aragon”.

The Regional Executive Councilor has asserted that “we have been paying an important part of the debts we had with the suppliers” and that a syndicated loan worth 110 million has been signed, contributing more than 30 so far. The Government is renegotiating the debt of the company to avoid the bankruptcy that would be “inevitable” if it were not restructured.

He commented that the sanitation plan will need a “new financing of the partners in the coming years” and that to get Plaza to be the logistics center of south-western Europe it is necessary that public administrations finance it.

Another objective, when starting his term in Plaza, has outlined the Minister of Public Works, has been “urgently meet the commercial commitments approved in previous Councils, as they were written, put us in the grave situation of increasing losses real. ” For example, the execution of works was pending to obtain that Decathlon could have the municipal license that allowed him to be installed.

The legal advice of the company was also changed, which “was not the most appropriate”, and an agreement was signed with the General Directorate of Legal Services.

Another action has been to negotiate with the contractors “so that they would lower us the promissory notes that they had”. Likewise, the commercial team has been maintained and strengthened and “we have reduced prices, we have done things”, although “we have not had more success than other logistics areas in Spain”.

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Rafael Fernández de Alarcón has referred that the crisis has led to a devaluation of real estate values, “a reality that has caught more companies that had risked more.”

He has defended the hiring of the current manager of Plaza, Jesus Andreu, indicating that to choose him he interviewed about ten people and that the selected professional had been head of the Housing Rehabilitation Service of the regional government and director in Aragon of an important real estate.

Plaza has two limits, the counselor continued, the first of them “know where we are going” and the second “avoid when you do some projects and they tell you that doing this business costs 150 million, if it then costs about triple, a plan of business that is not well done “.

Now the Board of Directors works so that Plaza “is more attractive for companies, to improve accessibility, get a second locomotive” in addition to the first one, in express reference to Inditex. In general, Fernández de Alarcón intends to “create activity and employment”.

The new Council has worked “to strengthen legal advice, refinance debt, reduce costs and risks and improve the attractiveness” of society, which “must be cleaned up” to make it more competitive for the next decade. The director has dispensed with the Executive Committee of previous years, deleting it.

He has considered that sufficient information is being given to reach the agreements, although he has acknowledged that “there are times when the information reaches the Council at the last moment”. The Council “is absolutely explained everything.”

The multiple financing channels that today give oxygen to Islamic State

Posted on May 12, 2018
 

 

Estado Islámico

Image of the training of the jihadist terrorist group Islamic State. WIKIPEDIA

Black oil market , art plundering, kidnapping and trafficking in women are the most important sources of financing of Islamic State, which in any case it is cheap to kill: just an explosives belt or a kalashnikov for little money (of 200 to 1,500 euros) and desire to die for jihad. Many experts say these days that the key to weakening them is to cut off these avenues of funding.

Artistic heritage and oil sales

Only with the sale of plundered works of historic-artistic heritage, the terrorist organization has obtained since the end of 2014 about 10,000 million dollars (about 9,410 million euros ), according to Unesco’s calculations.

 

A business that is also known as the Islamic State has incorporated its sources of financing and added to its main income: the sale of oil on the black market , especially to the so-called failed states.

In Syria, it controlled the bombed oil fields of Deir Ezzor, on the border with Iraq and from where it is exported to Turkey and from there to the failed states. But the Islamic State, according to experts, is not taking all the performance possible from that. raw material, since it sells it relatively cheap , well below the market price.

However, as it is a business outside the legal circuit, it is practically impossible to quantify the benefits that the terrorist organization obtains from this sale of oil, which deals with portable refineries acquired in China and with which black gold loses quality.

In Syria , for example, Islamic State (EI) controlled the bombed oil fields of Deir Ezzor, on the border with Iraq and from where it is exported to Turkey in trucks to transport it by sea to those failed states, the experts say.

Looting of banks and ‘revolutionary tax’

They also remember that the takeover by the Islamic State of Mosul, the second most important city in Iraq, allowed it to steal more than 500 billion Iraqi dinars ( about 395 million euros ) in the looting of the banks, including the central bank. Another means of financing.

Precisely in that city the IS, even before taking it, demanded a kind of ‘revolutionary tax’ on business, which would generate some 7.5 million euros a month.

Calculations made by experts from the United States and the United Kingdom who calculated the capital of the Islamic State at 824 million euros before the invasion of Mosul, an amount that would have increased by 1,500 million .

Other organizations loyal to the Islamic State are financed by more rudimentary means, such as arms or drug trafficking, as well as kidnappings. Images of jihadists destroying temples and archaeological works have been common, but terrorists have also taken advantage of the pieces that can be used. to be sold to be placed on the black market, also to collectors in Europe and the United States.

Along with these revenues from the terrorists’ finances are also those who obtain other criminal activities, such as kidnappings , especially foreigners, with which they blackmail the governments.

Something that worries also is the rat of human beings , an activity with which they commercialize especially for the traffic of sexual of women, many of them minors, in some case even babies.

The younger they are, the better they are paid , regrets one of the experts consulted, who remembers that terrorists plunder entire populations and take the girls away.

In addition, from other countries, such as Saudi Arabia or Qatar , they receive economic flows and aid that has not been able to materialize.

A catalog, in short, of forms of financing of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Other organizations loyal to the Islamic State are financed by more rudimentary means, such as arms or drug trafficking, as well as kidnappings.

Matanzas like the Paris one suppose them maximum 20,000 euros

It is not expensive for the jihadists to kill. It is estimated that the attacks in Paris cost no more than 20,000 euros.

As explained by the sources consulted, the purchase of a kalashnikov in the black market in Africa can mean a small outlay of 200 euros and in Russia of 500, although in other places the average is between 1,200 and 1,500 euros.

In addition, it is a type of weapon that can be fired under any conditions and that does not require special preparation and is relatively easy to achieve, given that there are tens of millions of units in the world.

A little more skill or expertise requires putting on an explosive vest or belt , but its technology is very simple and the amount of explosive needed to blow it up and cause a massacre does not cost much money.

Organized or lone wolves, the truth is that they do not need expensive infrastructure either . In general, the jihadists who have acted in Europe led a seemingly normal life, even with a job, have radicalized on the Internet and have only had to spend an amount of money assumable to seize weapons or explosives.

Their immolation in the name of jihad also allows them to ‘save’ the necessary structure for flight. And if it is a foreign fighter who wants to join the Islamic State, a simple air ticket is enough for them, and their own documentation, since they usually travel with the real one.