Two resign over metro landslide scandal
24 February 2005, BARCELONA-The scandal over the landslide caused by poorly planned works on the metro system in Barcelona has led to the resignation of two central figures involved in the affair.
24 February 2005
BARCELONA-The scandal over the landslide caused by poorly planned works on the metro system in Barcelona has led to the resignation of two central figures involved in the affair.
Jordi Julia, minister of transport in the Catalan regional government, and Ramon Serra, president of GISA, the public company involved in the works, both tendered their resignations, which were accepted by authorities.
Juliá was not directly implicated in the scandal, but had signed two agreements to allow the work to go ahead and, as the minister ultimately responsible, has had to resign.
GISA, for which Serra was president, was not directly involved in the work, but did oversee the project and as such has also quit.
A judge has opened an investigation to determine who was responsible for the landslide which left 1,000 people in Barcelona homeless last month.
Residents of Carmel in the Catalan capital were forced to leave their home after a landslide caused by work on an extension to the metro line in January.
Judge Elisabet Castelló opened the investigation into the state-run agency GISA, which is behind the metro extension, the private construction companies FCC, Comsa and Copisa Constructora Pirenaica, who worked on the project, and another management company TEC-4, as well as the firm involved in the geological survey of the land, Geocontrol.
The regional Catalan government or Generalitat is also implicated in the fiasco.
The companies have been asked to pay a surety of EUR 100 million into court.
But the cost of rebuilding scores of homes and the area is expected to be twice this amount.
Spanish premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero pledged cash to help the scores of families left homeless.
Zapatero, on a visit to the Carmel area of the city earlier this month, said the government would pay each family which had lost their home an initial EUR 10,000 to cover costs while their properties were being rebuilt.
Each family will also get an extra EUR 1,500 to replace household objects.
A number of buildings collapsed when work to extend a metro line disturbed the ground below in January.
The work inadvertently caused a landslide which left a 20-metre wide hole.
At least 1,000 residents of 50 blocks had to leave their homes and scores are still sleeping with relatives or in hotels.
The council denies it should not have allowed the work and a full investigation has begun.
But the Spanish daily El Pais reported that similar tunnelling techniques to extend the Madrid metro were banned ten years before.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news