Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

The PNV pressured its mayor of Mundaka to act above the municipal secretary

  • The mayor of Mundaka was Mikel Bilbao at the time when the facts were described, in the years 2019 and 2020, and the Local Presidential Board of the PNV pressured the citizens to recontract the legal services contracted by the previous city council. The Secretary of the City Council unfavourably reported such recruitment.

19 April 2024 - 13:40
Last updated: 2024-04-21 19:43:45
Mikel Bilbao Ruiz Mundakako alkate ohia, 2019ko udal hauteskundeetako argazki batean. (Argazkia: EAJ)

The reports published by the media El Salto describe the work done by the PNV for Mayor Mikel Bilbao to approve his orders and the efforts made by the mayor to face them.

Bilbao came to the mayor’s office in the 2019 legislature and, as soon as he took over, abandoned the legal advice of Javier Aldamiz-Etxebarria. Aldamiz has been affiliated with the PNV since 2005, as explained by El Salto, and candidate for the Spanish Congress by the PNV. This suspension of the contract was not liked by the PNV and Alfonso Menoyo, president of the Municipality of Mundaka, tried to persuade Bilbao to hire Aldamiz.

The municipal secretary, however, argued in a report that such hiring should be carried out by public tender. He also says that the architectural works of the city council should be carried out by officials and not by public procurement. Mayor Bilbao relied on this report to constantly indicate that what the PNV wanted could be illegal and that that is why a public competition had to be made instead of hiring Aldamiz directly.

“It is a mandate of the Board”

Bilbao recorded numerous telephone and face-to-face meetings in which the pressure exerted by the mayor, first by Alfonso Menoyo, and later also by the general representative of Bizkaia, Unai Rementeria, who urges the mayor to “get wet”, as he did in his day. Rementeria was mayor of Mundaka before being a general Member.

Bilbao is engaged in the public competition in one of the many reforms that have taken place, and Menoyo replies that “if you want to invite three, but the result will be unique. You have to incorporate a legal advisor yes or yes.” At the time, Bilbao denounced that “they wanted to use me to accept the illegal urban swap brought by the Batzoki, with the guarantee of legal advice contracted by the previous city council”.

Bilbao clearly told Menoyo the opinion of the municipal secretary, but the latter was clear that it was not a legal issue: “It is not a law, but an opinion of a man who is making an interpretation. I know something about this.”

In the last months of 2019 and early 2020 several meetings were held between the PNV of Mundaka and the nationalist leaders of the city, in which Mayor Bilbao received numerous pressures: “I begin to realize that the only objective – says Bilbao – of these meetings is to govern the city council from the batzoki, without taking into account the legal channels, and without taking into account some of the consequences that some of the proposed actions.

The Salto also reports a phone recorded interview in which Menoyo presses Bilbao time and time again: “Look, I don’t know how to make it clearer: it’s not arguable. It’s not that you understand one way or another, it’s a Board of Directors mandate.” And after many arguments in his favor, it ends like this: “You must know where you are.”

The prosecutor filed the complaint

Bilbao itself made available to the Prosecutor’s Office various materials for the investigation of this and other matters, including the audios described above. In 2022, the prosecutor closed the lawsuit without finding a crime in the materials. In October 2021, the councillors of the PNV of Mundaka obtained a motion of censure against their mayor to Bilbao.

Bilbao was not affiliated with the PNV when the party proposed to go to the 2019 municipal elections as a candidate for Mundaka. The author of this extensive and exhaustive investigation, Ahoztar Zelaieta, explained that at that time the president of the EBB of the PNV, Andoni Ortuzar, was performing an image cleaning, after in previous years the party appeared mixed in many dark municipal affairs. That’s why he turned to Bilbao: Bilbao was the young man who danced the aurresku each year at the tomb of Sabino Arana in Sukarrieta, but once released mayor they were unable to do what the party wanted.

In the municipal elections of 2023 he was again presented to the mayor with the independent candidature of Bilbao Herri Alternatiba, obtaining two councilors. With them and with the three of EH Bildu, this last force has the mayor today.

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