Archive for the ‘Law’ category

Nun Accused of Stealing Babies Declines to Testify in Court

April 23, 2012

Sister María Gómez Valbuena
Sister María Gómez Valbuena leaving Madrid Trial Court 47 after declining to testify. Photo by Cristóbal Manuel.

Mothers of Stolen Children
Those affected by the theft of children spent the night in front of the Sisters of Charity’s school where the accused nun lives holding yellow candles and cards with their petitions.

Nun Accused of Stealing Babies Declines to Testify in Court
Sister María Gómez Valbuena is still charged with illegal custody
Tomorrow, the judge will call for testimony from the adoptive parents of the daughter who was supposedly robbed

El País: La monja acusada del robo de bebés se niega a declarar ante el juez
Natalia Junquera reporting from Madrid April 12, 2012

Sister María Gómez Valbuena declined to testify before a judge about her supposed involvement in a case of baby theft.  She is still charged with illegal custody, the charge about which she was called to testify today. Judge Adolfo Carretero said he will call the adoptive parents to testify tomorrow about their supposedly stolen daughter. The nun is the first person to be directly accused after 1500 denouncements were made all around Spain by mothers who believe their children were stolen after birth.

Gómez Valbuena, wearing the habit of the Daughters of Charity, arrived at Madrid Trial Court 47 a little after eight, an hour and a half before her appointed time, accompanied by another religious from her congregation. She attempted – successfully, when she entered – to avoid the multitude of media members waiting for her, many of them from abroad. After availing her right to not testify before the judge, she left through a side entrance, the one used for night court, escorted by several members of the municipal police, but she could not avoid the media then.

Nor could she avoid the other mothers accusing her of robbing their babies; when they saw her, they shouted, “Shameless!” and “We want to see your face!” while Sister María entered a black all-terrain Mercedes Benz with tinted windows in order to depart the judicial premises.

The nun, who is 80 years old, has contracted the services of José María Calero Martínez, the lawyer for the parents of murdered minor Marta del Castillo. The Madrid District Attorney’s Office called her to testify after she was accused, and she declined to speak then, as well. Dozens of mothers who are seeking their children and who have seen their cases put in the archives of DA’s Offices around the country for lack of evidence have put all their hopes on Sister María telling the judge what she did and what she knows.

The case for which the judge called the nun forward as defendant is that of María Luisa Torres, who gave birth to a daughter, Pilar, in the Saint Cristina of Madrid clinic in 1982. She claimed that Sister María seized the child and threatened she would take the mother’s other daughter, as well, “because of your adultery”. Thanks to the help of Pilar’s adoptive father, the mother and daughter were able to reunite last year, 29 years after the birth. Last week, both testified to the same judge that interrogated Sister María today. “If she doesn’t pay in this life, she will pay in the next one,” Pilar said about the religious before she entered the court. “She deserves the highest punishment,” Pilar’s mother added.


Spain to Argentina: There Will Be Consequences for Hostility Toward Repsol

April 14, 2012

Spain to Argentina: There Will Be Consequences for Hostility Toward Repsol
The conflict between the Argentinian government and the Spanish business is far from being resolved
The Argentinian government will decide the future of Repsol’s affiliate today

El País: Soria advierte a Argentina: “La hostilidad [con Repsol] traerá consecuencias”
Carlos E. Cué reporting from Warsaw April 12, 2012

The conflict between the Argentinian government and Repsol-YPF is threatening to become an authentic diplomatic row of the first order. The Spanish government has been discrete until now, although it tried to mediate when the Minister of Industry, José Manuel Soria, traveled to Buenos Aires. Even the King of Spain has tried to stop the conflict. The president of Repsol, Antoni Brufau, has been in Buenos Aires for days looking for a solution. But it all seems useless.

Six Argentinian provinces have now revoked a dozen licenses from Repsol-YPF, sinking the company’s value in the Buenos Aires market. Today, the Spanish government decided to go on the attack. In a recording made by the executive department’s press agency at the doors of the Spanish embassy in Poland, where Spanish journalists could not be present and could not ask questions, Soria said, “The Government of Spain defends the interests of all Spanish businesses, within and without. If there are acts of hostility toward these interests anywhere in the world, the government will interpret them as acts of hostility toward Spain and the Spanish government. What this government is saying is that if there will be consequences for any acts of hostility.”

A diplomatic conflict seems inevitable. Repsol controls 53.47% of YPF, while the Argentinian group Petersen holds 25.46%. The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has encouraged the escalation against Repsol, which she accuses of not making sufficient investments in YPF, causing that company to decrease production and thus forcing Argentina to import petroleum. Repsol has promised to increase its investment, but the row, far from settling down, has worsened, and there is a risk that at the end of this process, Argentina will buy the company for a low price, which would be very damaging for the Spanish oil company.

Spain to Prohibit Cash Payments for Professional Services of Over €2500

April 12, 2012

Mariano Rajoy April 12
President Mariano Rajoy at the Congress of Deputies this morning

Spain to Prohibit Cash Payments for Professional Services of Over €2500
Violators will be fined 25% of the quantity paid illegally; Rajoy announces in Congress that this anti-fraud program will be approved Friday
El País: El Gobierno prohibirá a los profesionales el pago en efectivo de más de 2.500 euros
Cristina Galindo reporting from Madrid April 11, 2012

The anti-fraud plan the government has finalized in order to alleviate the public deficit by raising tax revenues, and which will be accompanied by the first fiscal amnesty in two decades, will include the prohibition of cash transactions of values greater than €2500 for between professional businessmen. Henceforth, such payments will have to be made by card or bank transfer. According to President Mariano Rajoy’s statement in Congress today, violators will face a fine of 25% of the amount paid illegally.

Housing is using this measure to impede the traffic of black money (most of all in the form of €500 bills) inside commercial operations, and in the case of businesses, to obstruct them from resorting to false invoices, a typical kind of fraud that occurs when a business that pays IRPF (income tax) by a system of modules sends a bill for a service that it did not render so that another company can claim a tax exemption from a VAT (Value Added Tax) which it did not actually pay. This anti-fraud measure, which the Council of Ministers will approve Friday, aims to collect €8.171 billion in tax that otherwise would not have been paid in 2012; this would help the country meet its deficit targets set by Brussels (5.3% of GDP this year and 3% in 2013).

The measure announced today is inspired by limitations on cash payments ratified in Italy (€1000) and France (€3000 for professional services and €1500 for salary payments) in 2011 and 2010, respectively. Though fiscal inspectors don’t know the fine print yet, they consider any initiative that complicates the transfer of cash an improvement. “While it is not a panacea in itself, it is a positive measure,” said sources in the National Housing Inspection Organization, which represents 95% of the 1500 inspectors. “We will have to see whether the €2500 cap is too high or not; it’s still early,” the association added.

According to the experts at the Ministry of Housing (Gestha), this maximum should be lowered again to €1000, the maximum in Italy, whose underground economy is comparable in size with Spain’s. In addition, some experts stated in a communique that the measure will just be wet paper in the fight against fraud, because it would still make more economic sense to get caught and pay the fine than it would to follow the law: “Fraud saves one from paying the corporate tax (which is up to 30% of an import) and the VAT (from 4-18%), which means savings that are greater than the 25% which would be the maximum penalty for those caught by Housing.” Sources in the inspectors’ organization stated, however, that once the fraud is discovered, and the fine paid, the corresponding taxes would also be charged while the money is regularized.

“Restricting cash operations is always a good measure in the fight against fraud,” argues Valentín Pitch of the Register of Tax Advisors (REAF). This is the first time that limits on cash payment have been established in Spain. Until now, the fight against black money had concentrated on the controversial €500 bills, which make up 70% of the cash in circulation, and in reinforcing vigilance toward bank income.

The government announced the limitation of cash payments without making the quantities concrete on January 7 when it presented its battle plan against fraud.

Rajoy advanced this measure during parliamentary question time in response to a question by the spokesman of the United Left, Cayo Lara, about fiscal amnesty. Regarding amnesty, the president also qualified that he would not bring about a total amnesty but rather one in which parties which brought money to the surface would pay an 8% penalty – for businesses – or a 10% penalty – for individuals. He defended this measure by saying “it makes sense for our current situation.”

He also insisted that it is an “exceptional measure” which would only be valid in 2012 and which responds to a moment in which Spain needs to reduce the public deficit to 3% of the GDP in 2013, making it “very important” that Spain improve its revenues.

According to what Vice President Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría explained a few months ago, the plan will place special importance on the lists of tax evaders provided by countries that have left the list of fiscal paradises, like Andorra, Panama, and the Dutch Antilles. Nevetheless, the goal for collections stated today is below the current goal: €8.171 billion rather than €9.400, a decrease of 13%.

During another part of the control session, the Minister of Housing, Cristóbal Montoro, announced that the next trimesterly report of state revenues and expenditures would be published “very soon”, and it would show each Autonomous Community’s effect on the state ledger “to increase transparency”.

Guindos in Favor of Abolishing R&D Investment
The Minister of the Economy, Luis de Guindos, has signaled that investment in research and innovation has a “structural deficiency” because it is dependent on state subsidies which, in his opinion, should be eliminated to make way for private investment.

In his response to a question by Basque representative Arantza Tapia on the floor of Congress, Guindos pointed out that from 2009 to 2011, there have been “implicit cuts” in R&D&D, which means the drop in subsidies since 2009 is greater than the 26% it appears to be in the 2012 budget.

Poor Chinese Selling Organs to Japanese on Black Market; One Community Has Become an “Organ Village”

March 4, 2012

Poor Chinese Selling Organs to Japanese on Black Market; One Community Has Become an “Organ Villages”
Jiji Press: 中国で日本人に生体闇移植=違法行為か、貧困層ら売る―「臓器村」存在
Report from Beijing February 20, 2012

Several Japanese are going to China and secretly buying kidneys from the poor to receive in transplants, this newspaper learned on the 20th. Several parties involved in Chinese organ transplants have affirmed this information; they say “30-40 Japanese people come to China each year to receive kidney transplants, and most of those organs were purchased.”

In principle, organ transplants to foreigners has been illegal in China since 2007. Last year, the sale of organs was made illegal as well, further exposing the strength of the organ trade. An organ donor shortage in Japan is deepening, but Japanese citizens’ involvement in the black market could cause problems of its own.

In 2010, the NPO (non-profit organization) International Medical Information Center, which connects Japanese seeking donations with Chinese hospitals, heard from a doctor in a Shandong Province military hospital that “we use intermediaries for organ transplants” and introduced the NPO to a broker in Beijing. That broker said, “we use organs bought and sold on the market for organ transplants.” The NPO sensed the broker’s offerings would be illegal and refused.

This broker also told the NPO, “One rural village in Linyi County, Shandong Province is an “organ village”. A group of people there have organized the sales of their own organs. There are 15 we can use.” The market price for a kidney is about ¥50,000 Chinese yuan (about ¥620,000 Japanese yen or $8000 USD). Factoring in commissions for the broker and doctor, however, the total amount Japanese and other foreigners have to spend for a kidney transplant rises to ¥500-600,000 RMB (¥6.25-7.25 million JPY or $80,000-95,000).

A source familiar with transplants indicated that “transplants to Japanese people are occurring in places like Shandong, Tianjin, and Hunan.”

Until some years ago, most Chinese organ donors were prisoners on death row. Because of ethical and human rights complaints by the international community, the Chinese government now requires the consent of both prisoners and their family members in order to use executed people’s organs for transplants. Until now, most organs received by Japanese and other transplant patients in China came from death row, but these days kidney sales are rampant all over the country.

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Taiwan Railway Orgy Included 17 Year Old Girl, Who Confessed to Sex with at least 7-8 Men

February 29, 2012

I’ll be adding Taiwanese news stories to my rotation from here on to practice C-E translation. As you can see, the top story here is sometimes a little different than it would be in Spain and Japan.

Taiwan Railway Living Room Car
The orgy on a Taiwan Railway Car has sparked Taiwanese people’s interest in “living room cars”, which were converted from US Aid-provided passenger cars to executive suites. These “observatory rooms” are equipped with rotating sofas and large viewing windows. The car featured in this picture has the same design as the one used in this case. Photo provided by National Chiao-Tung University Rail Society.

Taiwan Railway Orgy Included 17 Year Old Girl, Who Confessed to Sex with at least 7-8 Men
China Times: 供述列車淫趴過程 17歲小雨:至少和7、8人做過
Chen Hong-wei reporting from Taipei February 29, 2012

Yesterday, Xiao-yu, the 17-year old leading lady in the orgy in a Taiwan Railway car and the key to the Railway Police investigation, appeared in court with her parents and admitted having sexual relations with at least seven or eight people in the car. She said “I remember the faces of the first five, but I’ve forgotten the rest because I was too tired!” Her mother collapsed when she heard that. She couldn’t believe her daughter had done such a thing.

The police have already questioned group leader and part-time tour guide Tsai Yu-lin, leading lady Xiao-yu, female assistant and 25-year old graduate student Xu, 26-year old team steward and odd-job man Liao, and seven people who participated in the scheme.

The Railway Police indicated that the key figures in the railway orgy have already testified, and they already have a clear and complete picture of the case: these 12 people had debauched sex together on a public train. After the investigation, they will be charged with crimes like offending public morality and breaking the Child and Youth Sexual Transaction Prevention Act. The 12, who testified separately, will all be brought to justice.

Xiao-yu will be tried as a minor before the Youth Court.

Tsai Yu-lin admitted organizing the orgy, but he said that except for Xiao-yu, everyone paid $800 NTD ($26 USD) to participate. He said the goal of the activity was to make society understand that there are many forms of sex besides one-on-one relations. He wanted to help people with unconventional views “make new connections”. The female graduate student and assistant said she participated in the orgy because it would help her with her thesis.

Xiao-yu had claimed she was 19 years old, but when she spoke with police yesterday she admitted she was under 18. Because Tsai Yu-lin helped arrange sexual relations for her, he broke Article 23 of the Youth Law: “arranging or assisting in procuring sexual relations for someone who is under 18 merits a penalty of 1-7 years in prison.” The two female assistants and the steward Liao will also be considered offenders of this law.

The other seven who admitted to participating in the orgy are men. Their occupations range from technology company engineer to restaurant worker to unskilled laborer. Five admitted having sex with Xiao-yu while wearing condoms. Another said “I didn’t have time to because there were too many people,” so he put on a condom, stood to the side, and masturbated while watching. The seventh said he couldn’t get an erection because he was “too nervous”, but he did fondle Xiao-yu several times.

The police indicated that the seven “Train Lechers” broke the section of the Youth Law regarding sex, lechery, and obscenity, and even if a person only touched Xiao-yu inappropriately, he would still be considered a violator of Article 22: “having sexual relations with a person under 18 merits a prison sentence no longer than one year or a fine of no more than $100,000 NTD ($3300 USD). After questioning, they were all be sent to the Banqiao Police Department for further investigation.

Last night, three more participants told the police they were willing to come forward and testify. The police have already seized Tsai Yu-lin’s checkbook and issued subpoenas to other people who remitted money to him.

The orgy occurred on February 19. Tsai Yu-lin planned it for four weeks. He posted on the BBS (Internet message board) “First-Rate Flower Art and Color Hotel” (whose name could also mean “First-Rate Prostitute Skilled Sex Hotel”) inviting people to participate in a sex party in a Taiwan Railway Car. After that, he interviewed people to choose the participants, found women who were willing to take part, and collected money. That day, 25 people boarded the Chu Kuang Express in Taipei and had an absurd orgy until they arrived in Zhunan 80 minutes later.

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Japan Supreme Court Gives Death Sentence to Mother-Child Murdurer who was then a Minor, Rejects Appeal

February 21, 2012

Japan Supreme Court Gives Death Sentence to Mother-Child Murdurer who was then a Minor, Rejects Appeal
Yomiuri Shimbun: 光母子殺害事件、元少年の死刑確定へ…上告棄却
February 21, 2012

On February 20, 2012, the Supreme Court of Japan’s First Petty Bench (headed by Seishi Kanetsuki) gave the death penalty to a man who raped and killed a mother and then killed her baby in Hikari City in 1999, when he was 18 years old. The decision was made in an appeals court on retrial (details below), and further appeals by the defendant were rejected.

The court’s reasoning was that “he coldbloodedly killed an innocent mother and child and still hasn’t seriously reflected on his brutality. Even though he was a minor at the time of the crime, this death sentence is unavoidable.”

The man sentenced to death was former company employee Takayuki Ōtuski (formerly Fukuda), age 30. Since he was 18 years, 30 days old at the time of the crime and hence the youngest person sentenced to death in 66 years, this case clearly displays the court’s hardening stance toward heinous crimes.

Three of the four judges on the court agreed with the decision. Some reasons the death penalty was considered appropriate were that the man killed the child so that his murder of the mother would not be discovered, compounding his wrongdoing; the bereaved felt severely victimized by the crime; and the case sent a shock wave through Japanese society. During the retrial, the defendant changed his argument and denied that he planned to commit rape or murder; the high court panned this as an “irrational defense” and took it as a sign that he still had not reflected on his actions.

Though the defendant was a minor at the time of the crime and had no previous criminal record, the court concluded that “taking these facts into full consideration, there is still no other option but the death penalty.”

Judge Kōji Yamaguchi dissented with the majority opinion and argued the case should not have been sent down for a retrial. He cited the Juvenile Law, which states that no one can be sentenced to death for a crime committed while under age 18, and stated that “it’s possible the defendant’s mental age was below 18.” Dissenting opinions are unusual for death penalty cases.

In the original trials about the case before the Yamaguchi Regional Court and the Hiroshima High Court, the justices chose not to give the defendant the death penalty on account of his age. In June 2006, the Supreme Court argued that “his youth cannot be considered a definitive factor in avoiding the death penalty” and sent the case back to the Hiroshima High Court for a retrial; on April 2008, that court stated that “the defendant expressed falsehoods in his argument, and there are now no extenuating circumstances” and ordered the death sentence, reversing its previous decision.

Since the death sentence was given to serial killer Norio Nagayama in 1990 (he was 19 at the time of his crimes and has since been executed), only two minors had been sentenced to death, but each one killed four people.

The Hikari City Mother-Child Murder Case: In April 1999, Ōtuski dressed as a plumbing inspector and went to his company-employed neighbor Hiroshi Motomura’s home, where he assaulted Motomura’s wife, Yayoi Motomura, then age 23. Because Mrs. Motomura resisted Ōtuski, he strangled her to death with both hands. Ōtuski then strangled her daughter Yūka (11 months old) to death with a cord because she wouldn’t stop crying. Finally, he stole a wallet and escaped.

Note: The Yomiuri Shimbun, out of respect to the Juvenile Law, which aims to protect children’s rights to a healthy upbringing, withholds the names of juvenile criminals on principle. Now the death penalty has been confirmed, however, and the question of whose life will be taken away by this punishment and who will not have the chance to return to society is of great concern to the public. For this reason, this newspaper will use the criminal’s real name when reporting on the Hikari City Mother-Child Murder Case from now on.

Hikari City Mother-Child Murder Case Judgment Record
Life Imprisonment: Yamaguchi Regional Court, March 22, 2000
Reasoning: The murder was not premeditated, and the murderer was remarkably immature. There are seeds of remorse inside him, so this court cannot say that there is no chance he’ll turn his life around.
Life Imprisonment: Hiroshima High Court, March 14, 2002
The gravity of the crime cannot be forgotten, but he sometimes expresses repentance, so this court cannot say that there is no chance he’ll turn his life around.
Annulment of Sentence/Reversal: Supreme Court of Japan, June 20, 2006
Because of the seriousness of the crime, and because there is no extenuating factors to take into condition, he must be sentenced to death. The murderer’s youth can’t be considered a decisive factor.
Death Sentence: Hiroshima High Court, April 22, 2008
The falsehood of the defendant’s argument kills the probability that he can turn his life around. No extenuating circumstances can be found that would allow the murderer to avoid a death sentence.
Death Sentence: Supreme Court of Japan, February 20, 2012
Because of his coldblooded crimes which trampled on the mother and child’s dignity, and because he continues to show no sincere remorse for his crime, despite his age he must be sentenced to death.

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Housing Investigates Rafael Nadal and Obliges Him to Change His Fiscal Residence

February 19, 2012

Rafael Nadal at Reception for Davis Cup WinnersRafael Nadal at a reception for the Davis Cup winners in Moncloa last Tuesday. Photo by Luis Sevillano.

Housing Investigates Rafael Nadal and Obliges Him to Change His Fiscal Residence
His companies paid taxes in the Basque Country though they weren’t active there
El País: Hacienda investiga a Rafael Nadal y le obliga a cambiar de domicilio fiscal
José María Irujo reporting from Madrid February 19, 2012

The match has been very long, more than two years long, and has been played inside offices and without spectators, but in the end the victory quietly went to the Tax Agency. Tennis player Rafael Nadal’s companies, which moved €56 million between 2005 and 2011, solicited a change of fiscal residence from the Basque Country to Manacor, Baleares last December 23.

Rafael Nadal’s business framework had taken advantage of fiscal residence in San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa the last six years to benefit from the region’s special tax regime though neither the companies’ activities nor their management were based in the city, according to a Tax Agency source. Last December, tax inspectors and the sportsman’s fiscal assessor came to an agreement that Nadal would request a change of residence and refill Form 036, which is obligatory to complete the transfer.

The agreement also requires the sportsman to regularize his tax situation by paying the millions of euros in taxes that he had avoided, according to agency sources. The sportsman’s spokesman declined to give an exact figure and admitted that the companies have moved their residence to the Balearic Islands and “as a result of this move would not receiving the benefits foreseen under the previous tax regime.” Nadal has always maintained his personal fiscal residence in the Balearic Islands, his birthplace.

The investigation into Nadal’s companies’ fiscal residence is part of a Tax Agency program that for five years has sniffed around the hundreds of companies legally based in the Basque Country and Navarre that feign the development of management and activities there to benefit from their tax systems and which on occasion are practically nonexistent. Nadal’s companies had this profile, assure sources close to the investigation.

“The law is very clear: a company’s residence should be where its activity and management are developed. Rafael Nadal is a great sportsman and wins his money honestly, but he only went to San Sebastián to eat steaks. He was poorly advised. His companies never should have been based there,” asserted a Tax Agency source.

Nadal’s companies were established in Gipuzkoa in 2005 and 2006 and were listed as Entrepreneurial Promotion Companies (SPE). The SPE is a tax instrument created by the Basque Nationalist government for companies basd in Álava, Bizcaia, and Gipuzkoa, and it was revoked in the rest of Spain. Article 60 of the regional law establishes that SPEs are societies dedicated to entrepreneurial activities whose securities are not listed on the stock exchange. They demand a minimum business capital of three million euros and can last five years. The Gipuzkoa Housing Agency decides which companies correspond with this listing.

The taxes for these societies are minimal, on occasion less than 1%, and this has provoked an inflow of businesses which saw the Basque Country as a kind of off-shore territory or fiscal paradise. In 2010, an investigatory commission of General Assemblies recommended the SPE’s elimination, and now the Bildu government is questioning it. “It’s not an instrument that the current government likes, and we are studying what to do with it, but we will not give any more details,” responded the Gipuzkoa Housing Agency’s spokesman.

It’s estimated that some 100 companies have this fiscal privilege in Gipuzkoa. Nadal’s were in this group, various sources stated. The tennis player has not provided details about his companies, but three (Debamina, SL, Goramendi Siglo XXI, and Aspemir, SL) have business capital that is practically identical to what the Basque law requires for listing as an SPE. The businesses’ official objectives are the fomenting, promotion, and participation of companies, nearly the word-for-word legal definition of these privileged entrepreneurial promotion societies.

Debamina, SL, is the head of the group. Its primary fiscal residence was Avenida del Barcelona #4 in San Sebastián, and its only administrator was Sebastián Nadal, the player’s father. The sportsman owns 99.35% of the capital. Debamina, SL holds 100% of Aspemir, SL, which is a limited unipersonal company [it has only one stockholder] and which controls Goramendi Siglo XXI.

According to the latest calculations declared by the Commercial Registry, the total active value of Aspemir has risen to €56 million euros; this year, its total profits rose to €19,808,112, for which it has paid €10,319 in taxes. From the analysis of these figures, we can deduce that for years, and through compensation methods, the companies paid very low percentages of taxes, lower even than 1%. The Housing Department’s state corporate tax is 30%. “It’s a private subject. We’re not going to say how much we paid,” responded Nadal’s spokesman.

During their stay in the Basque Country, Nadal’s companies’ management councils included José Antonio Lopetegui Agote, a Gipuzkoan developer and the brother of Miriam Lopetegui and former Barcelona and Spain goalkeeper Julen Lopetegui. The Lopeteguis have had a long friendship with the Nadals.

Nadal’s case is similar to manufacturer José Luis Moreno’s. Tax Agency inspectors confirmed in 2008 that Miramón Mendi, SA, his principal company and the top television producer in Spain, didn’t develop any of its activities in the Basque Country. The investigation took two years and started with a visit to Paseo de Andoain #18 in San Sebastián, which figured as the company residence in which he stayed 13 years. Moreno attended to the agency’s request, regularized his payments, and moved the companies’ fiscal residence to Madrid. Now, the same agency has touched Nadal.

SPEs’ Opacity
Another Entrepreneurial Promotion Company (SPE) on the point of explosion is the fraudulent Catalonian firm Glass Costa Este Salou, whose shareholders include ex-Housing Director and ex-PNV Senator Víctor Bravo. Through this tax instrument, the company established its fiscal residence in San Sebastián though neither its activities nor its management were in the community. In 2010, an investigatory commission of General Assemblies unanimously called for the disappearance of SPEs and produced a report which concluded that this special regimen lacked transparency, facilitated debt, and opened the door to companies seeking fiscal paradises. Alava and Vizcaya, controlled by the PNV, blocked SPEs’ abolition.

Gorka Maneiro, age 36, UPyD parliamentarian and fiscal assessor, assured that the instrument has had a “long leash” that it’s “brought a lot of money to the state while deceiving the citizens. SPEs practically don’t pay taxes, and they don’t complete their objectives of stimulating business creation, either. We must abolish this special regime.”

The Lehendakari (First Minister of the Basque Government), Patxi López, stated he is in favor of revising the bonuses written into in the regional councils’ tax rules in order to bring about “just fiscal pressure”. In 2010, the incentives conceded to Guipúzcoa’s 115 SPEs cost the regional Housing Department €600 million.