On the 3rd of April, the Town Hall organised homage to 30 years of municipal administrations in this new democratic age – under Franco such things were decided by the regime.
The Almuñécar PP are decrying the Mayor for the ‘exaggerated’ expense of the Peña Escrita mountain park.
Good news: there is new lighting on El Peñon del Santo, more commonly known as the cross on the rock.
Although the rock has been illuminated before, it had fallen into disrepair and the work on the new lighting system took so long that some of the new installations deteriorated and broke before the whole was completed. The job fell to the Granada company, Montajes Electricos Mañas about two years ago with a budget of 88,000 euros.
We have reported on this student theatre group before, made up of pupils from Almuñécars’ oldest secondary school, IES Antigua Sexi. SKS Teatro is a gem that enjoys more acclaim outside our municipal borders than within, but isn’t that always the story. The Spanish have a saying: Profeta en su tierra nunca prospera, which literally translates as: a prophet never prospers in his own land, or in other words, we never value our own talent amongst us.
The municipal tax collection service continues to collect complaints from the political opposition. The PSOE socialists claim that the tax-collecting service is a ‘real disaster and chaotic.’ They say that the taxpayer is confused because each different tax is collected in different time periods and the voluntary periods for payment varying in length.
The Mayor, Juan Carlos Benavides, declared a ‘suspension of payments,’ which is more often than not, a prelude to insolvency. This is a highly controversial announcement for the Town Hall to make. Many in the opposition feel, (as well as quite a few Almuñequeros in general), that coming after the huge financial outlay on the Referendum campaign, this is hard to swallow.
There are further tribulations for the Mayor, with the Public Prosecutor breathing down his neck over his dubious divorce and alleged fraud to hide his patrimony from possible embargo.
This all goes back to the setting up of a semi private company in the late 80’s with sizeable public funds, giving the Town Hall the controlling shares. This company, Tropicalfruits, went bankrupt and subsequent investigation uncovered unconventional and deficient bookkeeping. It was found, for instance, that the company had been buying fruit at a greater price than it had been selling it.
Employees from a building company, who haven’t received any salaries since November, protested outside the Almuñécar branch of the Cajasol. The company owner claims that the savings bank is subjecting him to a financial blockade, which has caused this shortfall.
And talking of hotels, the one on Cotobro beach that attracted quite a bit of controversy during its’ construction will be completed and opening its doors for Semana Santa.
Hotel Playa Cotobro has 64 rooms – but if I remember correctly; insufficient basement parking for the said rooms – and is built mere metres from the beach on a 600 sq/m plot, previously occupied by a quaint chalet and its walled garden. Such is progress!