Banks Take A Fifth

The Town Hall of Loja has to pay the equivalent of 8,000 euros a day to the banks to cover its loans, which represents 20% of its earnings.

One of the coalition, governing parties, the Convocatoria por Loja (CL), made this fact known in response to an opposition Spokesman, Andrés Ruiz, who had asked how the increase in IBI (property tax) was being spent.

In fact, as the CL Coordinator, Martín Velázquez put it, “I can’t understand how you can ask, when you know full well what debts the previous administration has left us.”

This outlay of 3m euros a year will increase to 4m as the grace period on some loans expires, so the Town Hall will be juggling with between 20% and 25% eaten up on paying off bank loans. Martín Velázquez explained that most of the loans were taken out during the “boom period when everybody thought that they were rich.”

This exchange came about because the Town Hall, governed by the PP and CL, raised the IBI by 21% to raise revenue. Martín Velázquez pointed out that although this tax had increased, other bills had gone down, such as the water, which dropped by 30%.

According to the CL, this present economical squeeze goes back to the ex-Mayor, Miguel Castellano: “In 2009, he asked for a 7.5m-euro loan from the banks, knowing that it was impossible to pay back, ” explained Martín Velázquez.

Fellow CL representative, Sr Pérez Unquiles asked with certain irony, who it was in the previous administration that squandered several million euros by placing the sewage-treatment plant (La Atajea) in such a place that it would be carried away by flood water…

(News: Loja, Poniente de Granada, Granada, Andalucia)