Via El Confidencial online
(...) The Spanish Freemasonry lives turbulent times. The Grand Lodge of Spain (GLE), the largest Masonic organization, will hold elections next March to elect the leadership and tension is felt. A year ago, the Grand Master, José Carretero faced a tumultuous meeting in which he was accused of using charitable funds of the organization to purchase real estate. After the purchase, the deed could not be sign because the purchase had no clearance from the General Assembly and another meeting was necessary to revoke the agreements with the steering so that they could legalize an operation that could get expensive.
Now a year later, the tables have changed: the opposition party accused of selling the goods he had bought. But the sale, held on 16 December 2009, nor has, say critics, the approval of the Assembly, approval required to conduct any real estate transaction. José Carretero told El Confidencial that "what they say are only half truths. In 2009, there was a meeting and was very clear that the authorizations were approved for buying and selling property. It followed all the legal steps and got nearly 90% of the vote in order to make real estate transactions, which has authorized the sale. Everything is clear. Carretero refers to an apartment, parking and a storeroom which had bought in 2007 in Bilbao. In the fall of that year, also acquired a facility in Palencia for 91,500 euros. The property prices are kept secret, although some sources say this newspaper that its market value touches half a million euros and the purchases were for an amount that was around 280,000 euros. The Grand Master of Freemasonry justifies his action: his predecessor was nearly tied the purchase of buildings in Bilbao and, at one time with him at the top of the organization, had to buy-a good price or missed a opportunity. Therefore did not hesitate.
"In reality, the purchase was approved at the board. The council decided to close the deal and pay with the balance we had. Thus, money is pulled profitability. It is true that should have been approved at a special meeting, but there was no time. The trouble was that after the assembly rejected the GLE purchase, something with which we did not. " In other words: it's like a commercial operation of a savings bank must obtain approval of the assembly to perform an operation, but the president of the entity has only the acquiescence of the board. If after the assembly does not approve, the transaction is not valid.
The controversy increased in intensity as to make purchases using charitable funds of the lodge, which according to the statutes can only be used to "meet the needs of the Freemasons and profane in difficulties and to fulfill the testamentary dispositions, where appropriate, of the deceased brothers. The money from charitable funds was a current account of the Grand Lodge of Spain. As that money was not revenues, Carter decided to use it instead of asking a bank loan, thus saving some costs. "This was no reduction in the funds, but to get a performance we had in cash money. Now, with the sale, the money has been repaid to charity, "he says. For now, the GLE preserves local Palencia. "We still have not taken any sale of these premises, because it is being used by some brothers," says José Carretero. (...)
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