The general secretary of UGT-A, Carmen Castilla, during a protest.

© Unidad Editorial, SA
The general secretary of UGT-A, Carmen Castilla, during a protest.

He Supreme court (TS) has just condemned the Andalusian federation of UGT, led by the secretary general Carmen Castilla, for diverting subsidies from the Junta de Andalucía, granted during the stage of the previous governments of the PSOE, for purposes not provided for in public aid.The judgment of the Supreme, dated December 21 and held by EL MUNDO, is framed within the judicial confrontation maintained by the Board and UGT-A for years, after this newspaper and other media documented, starting in 2013, numerous episodes of alleged fraud and diversion of subsidies carried out by the Andalusian federation ugetistaBefore the journalistic revelations, the Andalusian Government, during the stage of the socialist Susana diaz As president, she opened dozens of reinstatement files – one for each aid granted and not justified in a correct way or with suspected fraud – for the union to return the money. According to the sources consulted by this newspaper, the Andalusian Administration would be claiming UGT-A more than 40 million of euros. In the Díaz stage, the Board demanded the return of more than 15 million euros and the current Andalusian Government of the PP and Cs requested in October 2019 another 18 million more for training courses not justified in a correct way.

The Orienta Plan

As the union refuses to return the aid because it considers that it accredited them in accordance with the regulations, it went to court to appeal each of these reinstatement files opened by the Board. Precisely the recent ruling of the Administrative Litigation Chamber, Section Four, of the Supreme Court corresponds to one of them. The ruling analyzes a grant awarded to UGT-A to develop the Orienta Plan, a program aimed at fight unemployment through counseling units to advise the unemployed The Supreme Court now rules against the union and forces it to return 136.442 euros, to which the corresponding legal interest must be added, for allocating that amount from the Orienta Plan to the payment of an insurance policy completely unrelated to that program. pay compensation of many of the workers that the union dismissed in 2012 with an ERE, which left 159 employees on the street. Between the laid off There were 130 job promoters from Orienta, whose compensation was paid with the policy paid with the subsidy from the Board, as reported by this newspaper on September 3, 2013 The Supreme Court annuls a previous ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia (TSJA) of the year 2017 that gave the reason to the union and fully confirms that of the Contentious Administrative Court number 8 of Seville of 2016, which ordered UGT-A to return the 136,442 euros corresponding to the policy contracted with General, one of the insurers splattered by the case of fraudulent EREs. The insurance policy “was neither an expected expense, included among the eligible expenses detailed in the budget breakdown of the grant, nor is its strictly necessary nature nor its connection with the purpose of the subsidized activity, “says the ruling now confirmed by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court supports that the Board demanded that UGT-A return part of the aid after discovering, thanks to journalistic revelations, that” the requirements were not met legally enforceable for its granting, ”despite the fact that the money had already been paid to the union.

General cause

During the lawsuit, the Andalusian federation ugetista alleged that the refund opened by the Board to return the money is part of a “campaign of indiscriminate control»Of all the grant files in which UGT-A has been a beneficiary,« forming part of a general cause that leads the Junta de Andalucía to instruct the procedure without any prior indication of non-compliance ». However, the judge rejects it because the Board started a file of information reserved for «clarify complaints appeared in the media ”about the insurance policy charged to the Orienta Plan that had nothing to do with it, as this newspaper published. Therefore, the initiation of the reinstatement file is “sufficiently justified without it being considered that it is part of a general case against UGT-A,” says the judgment of the contentious court that the Supreme Court now ratifies.

The way was not wrong

In 2017, the TSJA agreed with UGT-A in this lawsuit with the argument that the Board had used a wrong way to claim the money from the union. Instead of opening reimbursement files – said the TSJA – it had to have initiated “ex officio review” procedures, identical to those that the Andalusian Administration is processing to recover the money allegedly defrauded through the irregular ERE. The Supreme Court sees correct the administrative channel undertaken by the Andalusian Administration, which initially demanded the return of 739.659,02 euros which have been reduced to the 136,442 mentioned above.The TS ruling focuses on the irregularities of the insurance policy that UGT-A charged to the Orienta Plan, but the union used this aid program to sneak in alleged false invoices and collect alleged bites your suppliers, as this newspaper published in January 2014, the diversion of subsidies from UGT-A has another judicial derivative in the criminal sphere. The head of the Court of Instruction 9 of Seville issued in April 2020 the opening of judgment oral against the former leadership of the Andalusian federation Ugetista and sent 15 defendants -5 from the union and 10 suppliers- to the bench for an alleged fraud of 40.7 million with grants.