The Supreme Court supports the constitution of the public-private company led by the commercial Agbar to manage the water of the Catalan capital and the metropolitan area of Barcelona. The Contentious Administrative Chamber of the High Court repeals the ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) that annulled in 2016 the concession to the mixed company controlled by 70% by Agbar, by 15% by the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) and another 15% by Criteria Caixa.
In 1953, under the validity of the Water Law, the concession of water from Barcelona and surrounding areas was granted to the General Water Society of Barcelona (SGAB). The TSJC determined that the constitution of the company did not conform to the law because it is not the result of adjudication by public tender, that is, bypassing advertising and competition.
As legal sources advance to EL MUNDO, the Supreme Court, in four sentences notified this Wednesday to the parties, estimates the appeals filed by the SGAB and Aigües de Barcelona, as well as the Metropolitan Management Company of the Cicle Integral de lAigua to understand that It is necessary to distinguish between municipal powers and the municipalization of public services, stating that their assumption is not automatic and that none of the municipalization attempts of 1966 of the City Council of Barcelona, nor that of 1982 of the Metropolitan Corporation reached the end sought.
In addition, in the resolutions the Third Chamber, unanimously agreed, also accepts the thesis that the State had full competence to grant the concession, as it did, to SGAB.
On the other hand, the contentious magistrates support the appellants' argument that the necessary requirements were not given to not go to a procedure of free concurrence in the award of the service and go to the negotiated procedure that was used and that the Law on State contracts endorse since it does not require that it be a single possible service provider.
The determining factor in the opinion of the Supreme Court is the validity and validity of the concession in 1953 and the ownership of the infrastructure to carry out the service that is the SGAB, which gave the mixed company rights that are still in force today .
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