© Reuters. Salamanca buries the ghost project to be a “little Dubai”
Salamanca, Feb 8 (.).- Salamanca has buried this Wednesday the ghost project to become a “little Dubai”, an urban planning plan that wanted to transform this World Heritage city with a game of 15,000 million euros from investors of the United Arab Emirates and other partners to be specified.
After the doubts raised about the transparency of the macro-project, the Salamanca City Council has announced that it is disassociating itself from the collaboration protocol that it signed less than 15 days ago, together with 14 other neighboring municipalities, with the British society Peace City World, the developer of the plan .
The City Council, which governs the PP with Ciudadanos, has not explained why it breaks with the British company, but it did explain the reason why it will immediately terminate the contract of the external advisor who brought the project to the city: José María Fuentes, who contributed a “false” title of graduate in Economics in the public contest that he won.
The University of Salamanca (USAL) has confirmed to EFE that “it has not completed the credits”, so the institution will take the case before the Prosecutor’s Office. The City Council will also take legal action, but it is unknown what will happen to the money it has already paid to the adviser.
Fuentes obtained in May 2020, in a public tender, a contract from the City Council as an external advisor to attract investment to Salamanca, with fees of 47,400 euros per year, VAT not included. His contract ended on July 20 of this year.
THEY USED THE NAME OF COMPANIES THAT DO NOT PARTICIPATE
Before the matter of the false title of the adviser came to light, the sharp distancing of large companies from the macro-project had already sown doubts about this initiative, in which the Salamanca City Council has been embarked on for two years.
Alfonso Vegara, president of the Fundación Metrópoli and renowned urban innovator, assured EFE that neither he nor his entity have any relationship with the Salamanca project; although the city councilor for Tourism, Fernando Castaño (Cs), had mentioned him as the person who “predictably” would be in charge of this development.
In recent days, the “partners” section has disappeared from the Peace City World website, which included companies such as Fundación Metrópoli and FCC (BME:), which have completely distanced themselves from both the British company and the Salamanca project.
“We have had no relationship with Peace City World or with the project, they have used the corporate logo without authorization. We forced them to remove it and we reserve the corresponding legal actions,” FCC sources explained.
A SALAMANCA WITH CHAIRLIFT, TRAM AND LUXURY AREAS
The “master plan” for Salamanca and its surroundings is still drawn on the Peace City World website and includes a luxury area, with hotels and exclusive shops; a virtual reality center, a planetarium, a technology zone, as well as a chairlift and a tram to connect these developments with the historic center.
The project was presented in Salamanca at a conference called Peace City World held between January 23 and 27. The City Council, which set up the Palacio de Congresos to host the event, also spent 35,618.16 euros on its organization.