Suspicious, To Say The Least…

The Granada City Hall sold a piece of land to land developers… and then bought it back at double the price.

There’s no other way to look at it other than as ‘dubious:’ at the height of the building boom they sold the plot for 417 euros per sq/m and then bought it back six years later, with the boom over, for 824 euros per sq/m. A City-Hall financial adviser alerted the Town Council that this would mean losses of between one and eight million euros, but the Mayor, Torres Hurtado, went ahead and signed the deal ten days later… just two days before the 2011 elections.

It all began on the 27th of September 2005 when the City Hall signed a deal with building developers for the sail of the PP-T1 area, where the Ice Palace, amongst other structures, was to be built. No matter that the going price of the land was much higher, the Mayor sold the land at the far inferior price of 417 euros per sq/m, bless his cotton socks.

Six years later with the boom splitting open at the seams, the building developers still hadn’t finished paying the agreed price and the City Hall had embargoed property belonging to the company to guarantee the payment.

And then came the 20th of May, just two days before the local elections, and the Mayor signed a deal in which the Town Hall liquidated the outstanding amount in exchange for part of the sold five years previously. The amount outstanding owed to the City Hall 8,273,465 euros.

But cutting a long story short, the land handed back measured 10,000 sq/m, giving a final figure of 824,52 euros per sq/m. Don’t forget that the original price of 417 euros was a top-of-the-boom price, whereas the 824-euro price tag was after the bubble had burst.

Not surprising, the Mayor, José Torres Hurtado (PP) has been called before a judge to give an account of his actions. The Mayor says that he took his decisions based on technical reports, yet as can be seen, one adviser at least was telling him that it was a no-no, financially speaking.

Don’t you just love our politicians?

(News: Metropolitan Granada, Andalucia – Photo:

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