Galician Highways have been "sold" to the Citibank
By Fernando Santamaria at Dec 25, 2008
Apparently Galician Highways have been sold to Citi, an American Financial Group related to the City Bank.
In this regard, UDNG, the National Union for a Galician Democracy party which has its head office in the Place de Quilmas, Carnota, a village threatened by the expansion of a fish farm by the Stolt Sea Farm SA, and is, therefore, extremely concerned by the way the Governments manage the soil of their territories (this is how UDNG understands the neighborhood fight in Galicia against fish farms http://quilmas.wordpress.com/) would like to initiate a debate and present, perhaps, its interpretation, to Judge Baltasar Garzon and the Associations for Historical Memory, in order to, would it seem necessary, they could extend their investigations to the Spanish Law System and eliminate the remains of Franquist procedures in State Management.
As far as we know, the main facts are these:
1) The award of the concession of the AP-9 (the official name of the 246 Kms. net) was made by means of a Decree 1955/1973 August 17 UDNG has not yet read, by Dictator Franco, is pre-constitutional, prior to the Spanish Constitution, (assigned in 1978) and this pre-constitutional character has carried that, although some of the sections do not leave the Autonomical Region Territory, the decisions about it (against what Spanish Constitution establishes(Arts.148.1,4º,5º: http://narros.congreso.es/constitucion/constitucion/indice/titulos/articulos.jsp?ini=148&tipo=2) correspond to the Spanish State, appear in the Spanish Administration Official Journal and are signed by the Ministry of Public Works and National Development.
2) The ground on which the AP-9 was built, or that it covers, has been acquired by means of expropiatory expedients,i.e. a procedure that can only be used by the Central Government or Autonomical State Boards and that is usually reserved for infrastructure public works of "Relevant Social Interest", as can be seen by its usual use in the Galician Autonomical Administration Journal during Manuel Fraga's and Emilio Pérez Touriño's Governments, as as a "supra-council incidence projects" related procedure, in the execution of aquaculture and eolic energy plans.
As an evidence of this, one of the endless lists of expropriations associated to the AP-9 can be seen, for example, in the Official Gazette no. 289 of Tuesday December 3, 2002, easily accessible on the libraries and on the internet. It would be interesting to see that, indeed, each and every one of the installments of its over 300 kms plot were obtained in this way.
3) In all the cases we could examine, the expropriating agent has been the Spanish state and, more specifically, the Ministry of Public Works and National Development.
4) The Law that the decree referred to in paragraph 1), (The 1955 / 1973 from Aug. 17 Decree), comes to develop is the 8 / 1972 of May 10 Law , about highways construction, maintenance and operation as a State concession, a law also enacted by dictator Franco. It omits to make any reference to the duration, the "time-terms", of the "concession",and leaves it to free will of the parts that make the agreement so that it leaves the possibility for it to be continued eternally.
It seems incredible that it has been maintained in a democracy and retained by both governments of the PP and the Socialist Party (or the Socialist Federation), as well as the Governments of intended nationalists as Ibarretxe in the Basque Country and Montilla in Catalunya.
5) All the further "extensions" of the grant have been made, therefore, in the absence of any legally stipulated period, through "agreements" between different Governments and the beneficiary/(ies ¿?) of the concession (UDNG could not examine yet every detail), keeping what might be called called the same Franquist legal "type".
6) In view of all this, UDNG, sustains the thesis that if there has been soil-expropriation by the Spanish State, and it would be effectively necessary to check whether this has been so in each of the near three hundred kilometers that have been constructed, the land is public (or has the Citybank related buyer documental certification of the propriety of the land? Or was it originally sold by Dictator Franco?), and that a temporally unlimited and "ad libitum" grant of public land by the Spanish State that is not governed by laws is "entirely arbitrary" and, in the strict sense, "illegal".
"In a matter in which the Dictatorship left a vacuum so evident, with results that are as sinister as this, and that it is very slippery, the law of Costas, of the 80's, which sets a deadline Maximum occupancy of public land in 30 years, could be a benchmark.
In any case, UDNG thinks that given the historical and legal conditions under which the purchase has been made, Galician Highways should come back at the hands of the Spanish State immediately.
If the land belongs to the state and is "public" (it's been acquired by means of enforced expropiations by the State for "socially relevant infraestructures"), any financial transaction on it (buy or sell) is illegal.
As a consequence, for UDNG it would seem absolutely imperative that Judge Garzon and Associations for the Historical Memory, not the governments nor the Political parties, articulated the means to investigate what other vestiges of this kind of Franquist regulations remain in the Spanish Institutions.
Much later, in 2003, during the term of Aznar, there was a delirious legislation, by means of which it's been said Spanish Highways in Galician Territory were "privaticed".
As far as we know it's only possible to privatice a service, (that can pass from being managed by State Officials to workers in a Company which pays the workers and gets the gainances) not a territory. "Privatization" doesn't allows in any way any kind of sell of the State property which is managed.
UDNG would like to inspect the documents on which the transaction has been made and demand political consequences.
It seems it is not possible to publish this view in any Spanish medium.