The anti-corruption prosecutor has opened an investigation into whether the award for the contract to run the beach bars in Orihuela was in fact “rigged”, as has been alleged by one of the companies excluded from the bidding process as they didn´t meet the minimum requirements needed to bid.

The councillor for the coast, Martina Scheurer, has said that neither she nor the town hall are concerned about this investigation, which is simply asking for the documentation to be presented in order to clarify if there is a case to answer or not.

Much of the controversy surrounded the requirement of a “Q” standard of quality, which the excluded companies didn´t have, but they were also not accredited with the ISO standards which were also required to ensure correct standards of management procedures are in place.

Controversy also surrounded the fact that claims were made that the company which was granted to license to operate, Chiringuitos del Sol, had existing debts with the town hall. This was later clarified to be an outstanding payment, rather than a debt, on account that the town hall had never previously requested the money, but this prompted the company to clear a considerable amount of the outstanding balance, in excess of half a million euro, prior to the contract commencing.

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