Budget insult again for Orihuela Costa
The Popular Party-Citizens government has produced a draft emergency budget to be approved this week providing for what they call ‘priority investments’. Nearly half way through the year, the budget for 2017 has still not been prepared. The priority investments in fact respond to the government caving in to pressure from traditional voters in particular from La Aparecida, a 2,000 people village some 15 minutes from Orihuela city which has an unfinished multi-million euro civic centre.
Therefore, €900,000 of the €1.3 million emergency budget will go to the cost of finalising the civic centre of La Aparecida and €200,000 will go towards building a sports complex in another small village, Molins. Around €57,000 will be spent on fixing the drains in a city street. And Orihuela Costa? Orihuela Costa will “get” €18,000 of the €1.3 million to pay for technical modifications which need to be introduced to the project, still years away, for our Emergency Services Centre.
Local political party CLARO is furious about the continued lack of funding: A spokesman said: “This is a ‘real’ priority project, which will be financed by the Valencia regional government, not by Orihuela Town Hall and has been delayed for 10 years. It has denied us proper emergency services such as a local police service operating 24 hours a day, space for La Guardia Civil which are located at present in Pilar and an emergency fire service which is presently located in Torrevieja.
“A civic centre in a small village near Orihuela is apparently a much greater priority than the multitude of needs of Orihuela Costa with a population equal to the city of Orihuela. We desperately need clean streets and properly maintained parks and gardens no to mention other services and facilities including the crying need for a cultural centre providing facilities for music, theatre and space for social groups. Just €18,000 of a budget of €1.3 million is an insult. It represents just 1.4 percent of the special investment budget. It makes a mockery of the commitment made in the 2012 budget, drawn up by the present Citizens party leader, Mr.Lopez Bas, and supposedly supported by all parties, to devote 40 percent of investment to Orihuela Costa in recognition of the historical investment deficit from which the coast has suffered and implicitly, although this is never stated, in recognition of the fact that the taxpayers of Orihuela Costa provide some 60 percent of the revenue of the municipality of Orihuela.”
CLARO believes that 1.4 percent of the special priority investment budget shows just how low a priority are the needs of Orihuela Costa for this Popular Party Citizens government.