‘Illegal’ Los Merinos slammed in Transparency International report
THE huge double golf macroproject of Los Merinos has landed Ronda town
hall on the annual Global Corruption Report.
Transparency International has cited the town and the project as one of 200 in Spain involved in a classic case of water corruption.
It was described as “a typical vote-winning election promise” to bring in more jobs, but did not have any provision of water.
No water for golf
In particularly singling out Ronda the report states: “Scandal has struck Ronda, famed for its picturesque cliffs and canyons.
“With the blessing of city officials, developers want to build a resort called Los Merinos that includes 800 homes, two luxury hotels and two golf courses.
“The dispute over the project’s legality, the area’s ability to provide water and the risk of pollution has created a tangled governance crisis.”
According to the Ministry of Environment it is one of 200 planned urban developments in Spain with no certain water supply. Environment chief for Malaga Ignacio Trillo told the report: “I only want to warn people intending to buy whatever type of home at Los Merinos there is no guarantee of water.”
The report continued: “Builders want to supply each Los Merinos resident with more water per day than the maximum level established by local planners.
“Because the sierra and its fauna, as well as surrounding villages, already rely on the aquifer, overtapping could put citizens and the environment at risk.”
The report continued that like elsewhere in Spain, Ronda’s town hall “stands to benefit from licences, land sales and property taxes.”
The report by the huge organisation based in Switzerland concluded: “Spanish parliament has not discussed the issue of corruption in water management for Ronda or similar projects elsewhere.
“Whether it is unable or unwilling, the link between lucrative development projects and the pressure on scarce water resources may be either too inconvenient or too complex to address.”