It seems as though Martina Scheurer, the former Los Verdes councillor of the coast, is closer to appearing in court, accused of displaying favouritism in the award of the chirunguitos tender to a non-Spanish company back in 2014, although she continues to vehemently deny the accusations.
The Orihuela court of instruction Number Three has now completed their preliminary investigation and has recommended the prosecution of Scheurer along with the manager of Chiringuitos del Sol SL, Thomas Herteux.
But although the contract has been in question for some time, the company continues to manage the bars that are all located on the Orihuela Costa.
According to the judge, Scheurer and Herteux are said to have loaded the contract with a list of conditions that were designed to suit Chiringuitos del Sol, the main one being the inclusion of a requirement to have the “Q quality tourism” accreditation, which excluded the other two Spanish applicants from the tender.
The magistrate points out that Scheurer knew that only Chiringuitos del Sol had the “Quality Q” award and, with the procedure taking about 2 months to complete, neither of the other companies would have been able to obtain the accreditation in time to meet the 20 day tender deadline. Chirunguitos del Sol SL was awarded the accreditation just a few months before submitting their tender.
Now the matter is in the hands of the prosecutor who is yet to make a decision about any subsequent prosecution. However, on the basis of its enquiries, the court has said that there is “a well-founded and rational suspicion” that the requirements included in the specifications “were written to ensure that Chirunguitos del Sol would be favoured by the outcome”.
Despite the fact that the possession of a “Q quality tourism” accreditation is required for any similar awards throughout the rest of Europe, rather bizarrely, the investigation seems not to have considered this major factor in making its judgement.
Neither has the investigation considered the first class job done by the company in improving Orihuela’s beaches, and the image of Chiringuitos to the general public, during the term of their contract, with many of the initiatives introduced making an enormous difference on many of the beaches at which they operate.
Meanwhile Adrian Roberts, one of the founders of Chiringuitos del Sol, has recently passed away at the age of 58 after a long illness.
Adrian was one of the main driving forces behind the initiative to establish the company and the success that the company has achieved in recent years was due, in no small way, to his efforts. He was actively involved in the company to the very end.