Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The price of dishonesty

Between 1988 and 2012, Valencia was massaging the statistics of its deficit by failing to register the expenditure on health.

In 2014 the EU opened an investigation into the matter to decide whether this was a case of deliberate deception or simply gross negligence. The practice of "hiding bills in the drawer" was something not uncommon in local authorities and in fact Orihuela has been accused of doing just that.

The conclusion of the investigation into Valencia though has consequences because Spain will be fined 18.93 million euros by the EU. The amount of the fine would have been much higher if Spain had not cooperated fully with the investigation. Valencia hopes that Spain will take responsibility for the payment of the fine.

Since the EU did not have the power to impose fines in this way before 2012, the years from 1988 and 2011 were not investigated.

The present council in Valencia says this practice no longer exists in the region and that they can pinpoint the councillors who were responsible for the malpractice.


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