Investigation opened against Barcelona mayor over alleged irregular subsidies

“We have nothing to hide” says Colau who says she will cooperate with legal authorities if necessary

Barcelona mayor Ada Colau makes an appearance at the interior ministry in March, 2021 (by Blanca Blay)
Barcelona mayor Ada Colau makes an appearance at the interior ministry in March, 2021 (by Blanca Blay) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

March 16, 2021 12:42 PM

The public prosecutor has opened an investigation against Barcelona mayor Ada Colau and various members of her local government for the alleged awarding of irregular subsidies. 

The case was brought to the prosecutor’s office by a group named Catalan Lawyers for the Constitution on Monday and was accepted to allow for an investigation on Tuesday. 

The prosecutors will now work to determine whether or not a full legal case needs to be filed. 

For her part, speaking on Catalan radio RAC1, Colau denied there was a cause and said she would collaborate with justice authorities should that be necessary. She also defended that the subsidies granted by her council were done respecting the law

"We have nothing to hide," the mayor of the Catalan capital said.

The initial complaint against Colau and her council came from a lawyers’ association called Catalan Lawyers for the Constitution and accuse the mayor of awarding grants outside of public procurement procedures to social entities such as the DESC Observatory who work on preserving social rights, the PAH platform that focuses on housing issues, the Alliance against Energy Poverty, and Engineering Without Borders.

According to Colau, it is "indisputable" that these entities do "essential" work in the city.

The complaint includes allegations of embezzlement, recruitment fraud, influence peddling, and embezzlement. In addition to Colau, the association also denounces the fourth deputy mayor of the city council, Laura Pérez, former councillors from the same Barcelona en Comú party Gala Pin and Laia Ortiz, and the director of the DESC Observatory, Irene Escorihuela. Colau had worked at the DESC before becoming mayor.