Tolo Sbert, pictured here to the left of Tolo Cursach, was in contact with the tourism director-general. | Alejandro Sepúlveda


The Partido Popular parliamentary spokesperson Marga Prohens has asked tourism minister Biel Barceló if the tourism director-general, Pilar Carbonell, showed a favour to Tolo Cursach and the Cursach Group.

This stems from what has apparently emerged in the investigation of Cursach's affairs. It would seem that the judge, Manuel Penalva, has stated that Tolo Sbert, Cursach's right-hand man, who was arrested at the same time as Cursach earlier this year, received a phone call from Carbonell. (This has been reported as having been just before Christmas last year but would in fact seem to have been in 2015) She told him that she would be retrieving a report in order to sign it. This report related to MegaPark in Arenal and to the legality of its opening licence.

Penalva is also said to refer to the role of another official at the ministry and to the rapidity with which the relevant documentation was signed in facilitating the legalisation of facilities at MegaPark. It is suggested that this all took only a couple of weeks over the festive period to sort out.

Prohens said yesterday that Barceló cannot try and "weasle out" of this matter. There cannot be a repeat, she insisted, of what happened with the contracts awarded by Més-controlled ministries to Jaume Garau, who had masterminded the Més election campaign in 2015. Barceló, Prohens made clear, has to either deny the accusations of favouritism shown to Cursach or, if they are true, then dismiss Carbonell. Podemos have demanded that Carbonell goes before parliament and make a statement.

The tourism ministry, meanwhile, released a statement in which it was said that at no time had favour been shown to the Cursach Group in respect of MegaPark. It says that Sbert was in contact with Carbonell by phone regarding a case that was opened on 5 November 2015 and resolved on 18 January 2016. The ministry suggests that all such "consultations" by citizens are dealt with in the same way and that communications with company representatives, such as Sbert, are common, especially over the winter because of the processing of building renovations.

The ministry became aware at the end of August that officials were going to be called to testify in the Cursach case. It opened an internal investigation into files related to the Cursach Group between 2014 and 2017 and any apparent irregularities were referred to the prosecution service in mid-September.