Voting for Debt

The governing party in Motril, with every opposition party voting against, approved a motion to apply for another bank loan.

The strongest criticism for this move came from the IU, who pointed out that the capital had to be returned starting from 2015; i.e., in the year of the local elections and that it will most probably not be the PP that will have to find the money, as they will have lost the Mayoralty. The incoming governing party will be saddled with the debt and how to pay it back.

The Mayor, justified this loan as a means to pay off local tradesmen, even though just over a year ago the Central Government loaned Granada’s municipal councils a total of 315m euros to pay off such debts.

Vice Mayor, José Garcia Fuentes, defended the new loan, claiming that that it could be financed without affected municipal social services. He added that these extra 3,000,000 euros would represent an important injection into the local economy.

The question is however, if the Motril already received money to meet this end, how come they are in debt again in this area so soon?

Last year 132 municipalities in the province of Granada acceded to this ‘helping hand’ from Madrid. Accordingly in Spring 2012 they calculated the money needed to pay off all the accumulated bills. The money was to be returned in ten years. The local traders had to renounce interest on the outstanding sums owed to them but at least they would receive their money. The town halls would have to pay interest of between 5% and 6%, because the bail out would actually be coming from banks, guaranteed by the Central Government.

One year later many of the town councils are back in debt. The city of Granada, for example borrowed 107.8m euros in 2012 and then requested a further 49m last month to pay off bills accumulated in the last 18 months. Almuñécar received 18m euros and then requested another five million. Motril received initially 7m euros and is now requesting another 3.6m euros. Loja received 6m in 2012 and has requested another 3m this year.

You might find it curious that all these town councils are in the hands of the Partido Popular. Salobreña, on the other hand, which is in the hands of the PSOE, requested 10m in 2012 and as yet has not requested more. However Baza under the PSOE originally requested 8.7m and then requested a further 1.5m euros, whilst Guadix (PP) requested 3m euros and has not required a further loan. However, the majority of the ‘sinners’ are the PP, which is curious as it is precisely this party that is preaching “living within your means.”

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

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