The 27th Investigating Court of Barcelona has summoned the Councilor for Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition of Barcelona, Eloi Badia, as being investigated for the controversial transfer of a municipally owned premises to a youth organization linked to the 'squatter' movement in the Gràcia neighbourhood, the Tres Lliris collective, to whom they also paid reforms, forgave the rent and have come to renew the transfer agreement despite multiple neighborhood complaints about noise and incivility.
In addition to Badia, the judge also summons four municipal officials to testify for the alleged favor treatment and prevarication they made in this case, which the neighbors have been denouncing for years, as reported by 'El País' on Tuesday. The complaint focuses especially on the transfer of uses that was formalized in September 2017 and that has been renewed and argues that it was made without a contest or prior auction since the transfer was decided in advance.
Municipal sources assure that the City Council will collaborate with the court "providing all the necessary documentation", according to Ep. From the council they have always clung to defending that the transfer of use of the premises to the collective was made after months of negotiations and dialogue with the neighborhood and based on the fact that there was a lack of facilities in the neighborhood for young people and that taking advantage of the facilities, an old police station of the National Police Corps owned by the Municipal Housing Institute located on Nil i Fabra street, "was a historical demand of youth entities."
However, for part of the neighbors the story is completely different. The premises were 'squatted' by the Casal Popular Tres Lliris, which months before had been evicted by the Mossos from another premises. Far from requesting another police intervention and despite being municipally owned, the Consistory ended up giving in to pressure from the group: it accepted a youth project from the group, which was established as a legal entity shortly before, and signed the transfer of the premises with a corresponding cost of several works inside worth at least 94,623.95 euros, as confirmed by ABC.
The transfer was, at least, cause for suspicion from the outset, to begin with because there was neither public tender nor publicity in this regard. Later, the City Council did nothing when the payments of some monthly installments were not fulfilled, which had, by the way, ridiculous amounts. Or neither when it was learned that the premises did not have the corresponding license processed.
A separate case have been the multiple complaints from neighbors about the inconvenience caused by Tres Lliris and that even led the Barcelona Ombudsman to request an action against the noise at night. With the Covid, the situation became more tense when living illegal parties. In three years, as an example, there were 119 records of the Urban Guard for incidents and 28 complaints in this regard, but with no sanctions. Despite all these episodes, the Consistory renewed the assignment with the group at the beginning of the year.
Badia's appointment with the judge is known the same week that it has been known that a judge has agreed to investigate the Sant Adrià incinerator, managed by the public company Tersa and chaired by the same councilor. The Court of Instruction number 5 of Badalona (Barcelona) will analyze whether the plant incurred in a possible crime against the environment and natural resources after a complaint filed at the end of March by the Prosecutor's Office that has now been admitted for processing.
Sources consulted agree, however, that at the moment the investigations are not directed against any specific person, but that they are investigating how the incinerator works. For this reason, the judge has requested documentation for the time being to advance the investigation proceedings. However, the complaint from the Prosecutor's Office pointed out Badia himself and the company's operating manager as responsible.