Fines Solidarity

Citizens of Salobreña have been collecting money between them to cover the 1,450 euros in fines that two of their number have to pay over the IBI protests.

As readers will remember for a number of consecutive Fridays, locals from Salobreña gathered in front of the town-hall building to protest over the 40% raise in local property tax (IBI). On one of these occasions, emotions ran a bit high and resulted two men being accused of ‘assaulting’ the Chief of the municipal police.

Juan de Dios N.P. and Francisco G.V. got into a scuffle with the Police Chief, who was trying to prevent them from entering into the building’s foyer, which is what the protesters had achieved the previous Friday, armed with saucepans and something to bang them with.

To avoid trial, the two men agreed to pay 1,470 euros, which is the sum of the corresponding fine for civil disobedience and 750 euros compensation for the ‘aggrieved party.’ But from the very beginning they knew that they had the support of their fellow protesters, around 200 of them, whose aim was to raise the money for the fines by organising fund-raising events.

“As soon as we knew what was going to happen, we began organizing events to raise funds and thus pay the fines between all of us. We continue to maintain that they are innocent and that there was no aggression, but the world of a police officer is above that of a normal citizen,” explained one of their fellow protestors.

Opposition leader for the IU, Ángel Coello, says that a fund-raising lunch had been a success, despite people being reticent because they felt that they were being scrutinized by the administration. He said that some people paid for the lunch but didn’t turn up for that very reason.

Editorial Note: It is obvious that the Mayor never expected such toxic resistance to the move to raise the IBI. It is more than likely that he probably only planned to raise it by, say, 20% but quoted 40% so that he could graciously agree to halve the amount and end up with what he wanted in the first place – hardly a novel tactic in politics. However, when it comes to the point that two citizens are turned into martyrs and hundreds of others organise fund-raising events to come to their aid, the result is political suicide for him and his party.

(News: Salobrena, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)