As announced by the City Hall of Santa Cruz, Sacyr has signed the agreement by which it undertakes to return the canon overcharged to Emmasa, about 33 million euros, a payment that the Consistory ordered to stop in 2020, considering the municipal technicians that it was not in accordance with the law. The return of this money will be made at a rate of 3.3 million a year, during the next ten years, the last payment coinciding with the completion of the concession of the integral water cycle to Emmasa, of which Sacyr is its majority shareholder. The agreement has already received the approval of the Emmasa Board of Directors.
An agreement that, despite what it might seem, does not mean that the company withdraws the administrative dispute filed against the agreement of the Governing Board in which the stoppage of the payment of that refund of the canon was ordered. It is noted in the agreement that what is signed is independent of that judicial process.
It is also made clear that in no case is the decision taken by the Board of Directors of Emmasa being called into question, in which the return of the canon advanced by Sacyr to the company was approved so that it could take over the concession of the integral cycle of the water in Santa Cruz.
It must be remembered that this decision is being investigated by the court, due to a complaint by United We Can, and that it keeps the former mayor of Santa Cruz, Miguel Zerolo, the former CEO of Emmasa, Pablo Abril Martorell, and the secretary of the Capital Corporation indicted. , Luis Prieto, for the alleged commission of the crimes of prevarication and embezzlement of public funds.
According to the agreement, the return of that money is made to guarantee the investment plan that has been presented by Emmasa and the payment to the shareholders, Sacyr insisting again that it is not done because it shares the municipal affirmation that it has been charged plus. In addition, the agreement includes the necessary updating of water rates, noting that, “in the event that they are not approved or do not materialize through their repercussion on the user, they will have to be compensated/subsidy charged to the municipal budget” .
One last point details that the City Council must compensate Emmasa in this 2022 with 2,014 million “as a consequence of the compensations valued by the Municipal Corporation to date (files in process).
In the arguments of the agreement, it is collected how the City Council addressed Emmasa up to four times throughout 2021 so that it demanded that Sacyr return the money overcharged according to the Consistory, which happened in February of this year . In the communication addressed to her majority shareholder, she urges him to reach an agreement with the Santa Cruz City Council on the matter in the following three months.
An agreement that was reached with the reformulation of the investment plan, the updating of rates and the return of the 33 million collected.
The Santa Cruz City Council defends that this agreement, signed by the Public Services area, headed by Carlos Tarife, with Sacyr and Emmasa, is the most advantageous solution for the city, since it is possible to reformulate the investment plan , with eight million that would be executed from now until 2025, with which the long-awaited zero discharge would be achieved.
According to municipal calculations, released when the principle of agreement was made public, from the moment of the concession until the end of it, in 2031, some 106 million euros would have been invested in the capital. Regarding the fact that the return agreement is linked to the increase in the water rate, the Consistory defends that prices have been frozen for a decade and that, they assure, it is a right included in the contract signed with Emmasa at the time of the concession of the service.