“Scammed, manipulated and abandoned.” This is how 50 families in Arganda del Rey (Madrid) feel that they have lost much of their savings after signing up for the Progreso Arganda cooperative, promoted by the PSOE . Founded in 2006 to build protected flats, the cooperative went into bankruptcy in February 2014. During this period, those affected were discharged because their personal economic situation worsened, or the bank did not grant them the loan of some flats that went up in price while they were being built. The cooperative did not return the money, claiming lack of liquidity. In total, they owe 1.58 million euros . Now, they are organizing to take their case to court, feeling “cheated” by the PSOE and the manager of the cooperative, and discover that the homes have been built on the famous plot UE124 of Arganda, an urban operation that investigates the judge plot ‘Gürtel’ , and in which Francisco Correa took a commission of 12 million euros .
“Dear fellow: At the proposal of a company, related to the party, which manages public housing, we found it interesting to promote a housing cooperative in Arganda .” With this heading, the local PSOE executive of Arganda del Rey wrote a letter on November 14, 2006 inviting militants and supporters to form this cooperative, but soon the list was opened to relatives and acquaintances. The letter was signed by Victoria Moreno, councilor in Arganda, current regional deputy of the Socialist Party of Madrid and a member of the management that runs the party after the departure of Tomás Gómez. Progreso Arganda cooperative was created on November 27, 2006. The partners who signed up, “and we signed at the local headquarters of the PSOE”, had to give an initial delivery of 14,124 euros and then monthly contributions .
The management of the cooperative was entrusted to Alcalá Consultores, “a company that deserves full confidence, as it is managed by people we know, with experience in the sector and who have managed cooperatives promoted by UGT”, read the letter from the local executive . The owner is Miguel Ángel Pascual Molinillo , former high-ranking socialist government with Joaquín Leguina and former manager of the Development Society of the City of Arganda. The manager commissioned the construction of the 125 floors planned for Imasatec , a company related to Pascual Molinillo. Imasatec is the owner of Imasqu Promotora, whose directors include Pascual Molinillo.
The plot of the ‘Gürtel’
The floor chosen for the cooperative to build the floors was one of the 21 plots of the now famous Execution Unit 124, famous because this urban operation is one of the main pieces of the ‘Gürtel’ plot. Judge Ruz and the UDEF believe that Francisco Correa gave the big buzz of his life in this plot : 158,000 square meters where they thought to build 2,600 homes, that the City Council governed by the PP sold in November 2004 to the construction company Martinsa for 77 million of euros. The agreed conditions were so advantageous that, a couple of years later, Martinsa recovered 73 million selling only a third of the ground. The former mayor Ginés Lopez and the former regional deputy Benjamín Martín Vasco are charged in the case. Correa took a commission of twelve million to broker.
The cooperative paid
Martinsa 6.69 million euros
for 1,563 square meters Progreso Arganda bought plot P20 (2,466 square meters) of the UE124 from Martinsa on June 27, 2007 in proindiviso with a company called CyC Desarrollo Inmobiliario. The cooperative bought 1,563 square meters for 6,699,000 euros (that is, the square meter came out to 4,285 euros), while for the remaining 903 meters CyC paid 1,481,000 euros (that is, 1,640 euros per meter). The cooperative members paid four times more for the same land as CyC . “We suspect that we financed the purchase of CyC,” explains Juan Martínez, one of the cooperative members. Cristina, another affected, explains that she came out a floor of 64 meters to 184,000 euros, “to be a cooperative and in Arganda, at the price of gold.” A representative of Alcalá Consultores assures that plot P20 had two soil classifications (VPPL and rent for purchase), and that what was set by law was paid.
In September 2009 the works begin, but Imasatec has financial problems and goes bankrupt and in bankruptcy a year later. The anticipated deadlines are delayed and the forecasts given to the cooperative members in the years 2006 and 2007 will not be fulfilled. Ferrovial takes over the works. The floors have already risen in price , as the Madrid Community increases the square meter module, and the cost skyrockets. On average, the cooperative members already know that the flats will cost around 70,000 euros more expensive . The crisis drowns. Many are unemployed or with precarious contracts, and banks and savings banks, which have turned off the credits, do not provide financing.
Pilar, cook, is now about to retire. Her husband, now deceased, was a socialist militant, and the couple decided in 2007 to invest practically all their savings in a three-bedroom apartment. He unfortunately died and Pilar decided to remain alone “with a lot of effort, and religiously paying the dues”. But the apartment that she and her husband wanted rose about 70,000 euros. Caja Madrid did not give her the loan and she had to inform the cooperative that she was withdrawing, she could not write . “Alcalá Consultores promised us many times that they gave us back the money and we have been waiting for years to recover the 43,000 euros that my mother put in,” says Norma, her daughter. “We are disappointed with the PSOE, everything has gone wrong and nobody helps us, my mother lives on rent and today she continues to pay the loan that the bank gave her to pay the 14,000 euros that they asked for as an initial contribution”.
The floors are finished, but half are empty
The floors were finished, 109 instead of the 125 originally planned. Half are empty. Many of the cooperative members were unemployed, in a precarious situation to be able to continue facing payments. And the vast majority, after the rise in the price of flats, did not obtain financing to be able to deed. This is the case of Juan, 48 years old, waiting for a medical court to grant him absolute disability due to a serious illness. “I came to the cooperative for the brother of a neighbor, who was affiliated with the PSOE, they owe me 37,500 euros, when I was to write, in 2012, I worked but did not have an indefinite contract, so Caja Madrid did not give me the loan. I tried to unsubscribe, but the cooperative argued that it was not a justified leave, they deceived us all . “
Many cooperative members tried to unsubscribe. Few got them. Those who claim that they did not succeed do not know in what legal situation they are, because they were told that they were unjustified casualties. What is clear is that these 50 families have not recovered their money . With this scenario the cooperative collapsed and entered into bankruptcy in 2014. In total, it owes 14,952,032 euros, of which 11,574,937 euros correspond to debts that the cooperative maintains with public administrations and banks. The 50 cooperative members who have not recovered their money are also creditors, but ordinary, for what they will charge after the creditors framed in the debt of 11.5 million. They claim 1.58 million euros, the money they advanced.
La Sareb (better known as the ‘bad bank’) has been left with the mortgages that financed the construction of its flats, more than 50 floors, about 70 parking spaces and six shops. All are on sale on the Internet. At best, Sareb expects to recover 8.69 million euros , “so we would be left without our money, since those 8.69 million would be to cover the debt of 11.5 million, not ours of 1.6 million” explain the cooperative members. Alcalá Consultores also claims 958,000 euros for its management, although the insolvency administrator has classified it as a subordinate creditor, that is, it would charge after the cooperative members.
Milagros entered the cooperative to try to have her daughter, who was then a university student, have a flat at an affordable price. ” But I was unemployed after my company went bankrupt, and we only had my husband’s salary, we preferred to pay for my two children’s studies than to stay in the cooperative, I got them to leave but they owed me 40,000 euros, Although the bankruptcy administrator has only recognized 38,000 euros, I discharged five years ago and I’m still waiting to get my money back, I do not have a permanent job, I only get some substitution, it’s our right, it’s our money. “
Six cooperative members decided to denounce separately to claim the money they advanced, although the bankruptcy contest paralyzed these demands. The families feel cheated, manipulated and abandoned “due to the mismanagement carried out both by the socialist group of Arganda , which wants to get rid of the problem, as well as by the manager”. They assure that they have met with the team of Pedro Sánchez and that they spoke with Tomás Gómez, who recommended him to the legal counsel of the Wilfredo Jurado party, investigated by the UDEF in the case of the extra cost of the Parla tram. “He has not done anything” and the cooperative members, who are starting to group together, are looking for new lawyers who are not “contaminated by the party”.
The cooperative was promoted by the PSOE, which now says it will help in what it can but little can do to be something private Guillermo Hita, PSOE candidate for mayor of Arganda, says 20 minutes that has met with the cooperative to help them in what I can. “It transcends the scope of the party, the cooperative members are the owners of the cooperative.” Hita recognizes, however, that the cooperative “was encouraged by the party” , but assures “that it is a problem of subrogation of mortgages, that Caja Madrid did not grant loans to the majority of the cooperative members”. The candidate assures that he will meet if necessary with the commercial judge and Sareb to help solve the problem, and affirms that among those affected there are people who are in their own candidacy . Of the same opinion is the deputy Victoria Moreno: “I have friends among those affected, we will try to help them, but it was a problem of subrogation of mortgages, the fault is Caja Madrid”.
Esteban is owed 38,000 euros. “I was unemployed and I said I could not keep paying, they told me that I had to pay six more monthly payments, and I did, but they never paid me, on top of the floor I was going to occupy, but it was not They have given me back the money, I now live in a house of my parents with my wife and my newborn son, I need to get my money back. ” The representative of Alcalá Consultores assures that he understands the situation that these families are going through, but insists that the partners are the “self-promoters.” When a member is retired, there must be one to replace him . There were no funds, it is invested, that is why we are in competition, because we have to pay the loans, including our fees, which we have not charged ” .