Lanzarote’s island government, the Cabildo, faces even more instability after its President, Pedro San Ginés, was charged with abuse of office and coercion by an Arrecife judge last month.
he charges arose from the hearing into the Cabildo´s seizure of the desalination plant at Montaña Roja in Playa Blanca last year. San Ginés, who is also the President of the island´s Water Council, is accused of ordering the seizure without legal authorisation to do so. Three other members of the island´s Water Council and Water Consortium were also charged. San Ginés claimed in court that he “did not write” the document authorising the seizure of the desalination plant. On the absence of necessary legal reports for a seizure, he commented that he had been “advised verbally”, and that the Cabildo Secretary had
informed him that written legal reports “were not necessary.” Benjamin Perdomo of Ciudadanos, the anti-corruption platform, immediately demanded San Ginés’ resignation, saying that the seizure of the water plant from Club Lanzarote was “incorrect.” However, Perdomo also said the motives for the seizure were understandable. “This was a business that was selling water to villas and hotels without the permission of the Water Council, without the necessary controls and established prices. This could affect customers and the environment.” Although the assumption of innocence until proved guilty applies in Spain, the charges against San Ginés will only make it more difficult
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for stability to be achieved in the Cabildo. Currently, San Ginés’ CC party govern in a minority in the Cabildo after the Socialists refused to join a pact in protest against the sacking of a public official involved
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The Gazette | September 2015 | 5