The mayor of Torrevieja, José Manuel Dolón, has asked that contracts linked to previous tourism fairs be investigated for improper allocation and processes. The same business organisations were given the contracts between 2005 and 2011 across Alicante province and in Orihuela.

TurismoFitur was a campaign during this period to promote tourism in Spain. Torrevieja town hall contracted stands at the tourism fair and this is now being investigated for impropriety. The mayor said: ‘If there is a crime here we will demand that those responsible are brought to justice.’

Torrevieja paid out  €1,207,408.65 to the same company that is now being investigated in Alicante. It is believed that the proper contracting procedure was not applied. During the years 2005, 2006 and 2007 this would have been under the jurisdiction of Pedro Hernández Mateo (PP) who has already been convicted of corruption.

The tourism fairs were held in Madrid, Valencia and Bilbao and huge profits were made from them. The same company, Equipamiento Integral para Stand Molinos, received the contracts but there was no one else who appeared to be offered the opportunity to bid and there was no publicity surrounding their appointment.

In 2010 and 2011, the process of allocating the contract was modified and at least three companies were invited to bid. However, it is alleged that there was insufficient time for them to apply and ultimately only one company was able to put forward their proposal in time. The information is due to be presented to the Public prosecutor’s Office.

Suzanne O’Connell