Abertis, the company owning the road toll concessions within Catalan territory, is accused to illegally charge tolls to Catalan people over at least 8 years.
Last April 19th, the leader of “Solidaritat per Catalunya” (Solidarity for Catalonia), Mr Uriel Bertran, was hold illegally for denying to pay the road toll at the town of Vilassar de Dalt, in Maresme. He became then the first member of the Catalan parliament that openly supports the social campaign “novullpagar” (I don’t want to pay) started on Facebook and Twitter by indignant Catalans in regards to the plot of the company Abertis, a private organization in charge of most of the road tolls existing in our country and which suppose a major grievance to the Catalan nation in comparison with other parts of the Spanish estate or the European Community.
Mr Bertran decided to call Mossos d’Esquadra (that is the name of the Catalan police), who finally forced the workers in the road toll to put the traffic light in green so Mr Bertran could cross without committing any infraction. Upon arrival he said: “I don’t want to pay, this road should have been free since 2004!”. He decided to cross the peatge twice and Abertis employees did exactly the same in the two occasions: first calling the supervisor, then pencil in the car plate number and leave the traffic light in red until police would arrive and force them to change it or until the queue of cars was so long that created a traffic jam and then they decided to change the light into green, so Mr. Bertran could pass.
During the month of May and early June, several demonstrations have been organized to denounce the illegality of such tolls; the campaign choose those points where road tolls have become incredibly expensive, like Martorell, Girona Sud, Maresme, and other critical points of the Catalan road infrastructure. Further on, members of Solidaritat per Catalunya, have very well undiscovered Abertis plot in the Catalan parliament, as Mr Alfons López Tena asked this week to the President of Generalitat Mr Artur Mas, for how long Catalan people had to pay only for enriching our own politicians?
Furthermore, Mr Bertran declared last week in front of the Catalan parliament that during 43 years the road tolls of Catalonia have only been directed to enrich company Abertis and its board of Directors, who were the responsible ex members of the Catalan government for extending concessions during the past 11 years. He courageously complaint to the current government representatives for instructing policemen to put fines to those drivers who denied to pay the tolls and dared tearing off a fine in front of them saying: “Catalan people are not scared of your fines!”.
He openly accused CIU-Convergència i Unió-, who is now ruling the Catalan government and willing to negotiate a new Tax agreement with the Spanish state-, for not only allowing but promoting Abertis to keep on charging tolls to Catalan people even after the value of the road infrastructure had been covered over 32 times for last 9 years. Mr Bertran also points out that Abertis provided funds to the political campaign of CIU with several donations of 150.000 Euros in exchange to extend them the road toll concessions for the years to come. It is not strange then to find out that members and ex- members of the Parliament for CIU work directly and indirectly for Abertis holdings. For example, Mr Salvador Alemany, Abertis president, is now the best adviser of our President, Mr Artur Mas, who along with Mr Lluís Recoder have allowed Abertis to have 344 millions Euros annual revenue, despite they recovered the investment years ago. Scandalous it is to find out that most of the members of Abertis board of Directors are ALL from CIU, with millionaire salaries fully paid over the years by the pockets of all Catalans. Spain is not the only one that systematically abuses Catalan people. Our own politicians are looting Catalan citizens using companies like Abertis.