Old post office HQ embargoed over Junta’s huge debt with small towns
The Diputación de Malaga, which is the provincial governing authority, has embargoed part of Malaga city’s former main post office (Correos) building because of a debt of over eight million euros which the Junta de Andalucía owes to 74 municipalities in the province.
The Diputación has embargoed nearly 7,000 square metres of the Correos building, which is 16,780 square metres in size and on 13 floors, to cover the debts, some of which have been outstanding for many years. The building was constructed in 1986 but is no longer used, and the Junta has been trying to sell it as a potential hotel.
Most of the Junta’s debts with towns and villages in Malaga province are for the IBI tax on properties it owns, but others are for unpaid rubbish collection and sewage treatment.
The regional government’s largest debt is with Estepona, to whom it owes 3.2 million euros. The Junta has paid no IBI to Estepona since 1996, and interest charges have boosted the initial debt considerably. Other municipalities to which the Junta owes IBI include Vélez-Malaga, for a bill dating back to 2002, and Arriate, which is still awaiting payment of an IBI bill from 2003. The small village of La Viñuela, which has just over 2,000 inhabitants, is owed 483,912.58 euros by the Junta because it has never paid IBI on the reservoir there, which is its property.
The Junta has the right to appeal against the Diputación’s embargo of the Correos building and is expected to do so next week, but this is not enough to stop the proceedings. It will have to negotiate and possibly present a guaranteed payment plan to cancel the debts before the embargo can be suspended. In the meantime, it is unlikely that any potential purchaser for the building will come forward, knowing that there is an eight million euro embargo against it.
The Junta’s delegate in Malaga, José Luis Ruiz Espejo, admits that numerous municipalities are owed money and says the debts will have to be paid, but he denies that 8,200 bills are outstanding, as the Diputación claims. The regional government says it has been billed for IBI for properties it does not own, and that it will give full details in its appeal.source surinenglish