Garau was the Més electoral strategist in 2015 | Jason Moore


Félix Pablo Pindado is the Balearic director general for European funds. His directorate forms part of the ministry for European funds (universities and culture), the creation of which was deemed necessary enough that it emerged from the recent reshuffle of the government cabinet. European funds, always important, are now far more important because of the distribution of Covid-inspired Next Generation cash.

Spain’s Markets and Competition Commission has imposed a six-figure fine on Jaume Garau and a former associate in respect of what the commission has referred to as “a cartel to manipulate public tenders for at least ten years”. Garau was the Més electoral strategist in 2015. Following the election came the so-called “caso Contratos”, accusations related to contracts awarded to Garau (and associates) by Més-run ministries.

These contracts, the individual values of which were never huge, became a matter for the courts’ attention: there were coherent explanations and there was no evidence of criminality. The commission, however, has drawn a rather different conclusion regarding Garau’s business activities, and it has implicated Pindado in the awarding of a contract.

That contract wasn’t in the Balearics, but the location is irrelevant, as the commission’s findings raise - at the very least - ethical questions for the government, ones which are seemingly being brushed aside.

Meanwhile, how can the commission have arrived at opinion which appears to contradict that of Balearic courts? A minister, Ruth Mateu, and certain officials were sacrificed when the contracts affair first blew up. Yet now?