Mario Blancke’s reaction on becoming Mayor of Alcaucin

The new Belgian Mayor of Alcaucin, Mario Jean Baptiste Blancke gives the low down on feeling Spanish and his route into local politics

LAST UPDATED: 22 Jun, 2015 @ 14:44
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HE was born in Belgium 57 years ago, but for nearly half that time Mario Jean Baptist Blancke has been a true and active Malaga resident at heart. marioblancke2

After giving up his job at Siemens after holidaying in Torrox 25 years ago, he decided to stay in the province, residing in Rincon de la Victoria.

It was in Alcaucin, however, where the expat first became involved with local politics. After buying a property in the town in 2006, which he feared was illegal, he joined property action group ‘Save our Homes in Axarquia’, more commonly known as SOHA, which stands up for the rights of owners and illegal properties. It was through his work at SOHA that he became an active member of the Ciudadanos party.

By recently writing his name in the history books as the first ever foreign mayor of a municipality in Malaga, there’s no surprise that Blancke feels proud at achieving such a feat.

He expressed his relief at being ‘given a chance’ by the people of Alcaucin and for not being overlooked despite his foreign origin.

And with his own son holding Spanish SOHAnationality, Blancke admits that although he has ‘felt Spanish for a long time now’ he hasn’t been persuaded to follow suit.

“I’m not ruling it out in the future, but when I saw the amount of paperwork my son had to deal with I put the idea to one side for a while,” he joked, despite acknowledging that this would be a way of ‘integrating completely’.

Blancke will couple his new mayoral duties with his existing role at SOHA, adamant that he will continue to serve both Spanish and foreign residents in the protection of their homes.



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6 COMMENTS

  1. I truly hope that Mario Blancke can achieve his goal in protecting people that were misled in purchasing illegally built homes. For some it is too late, their dream homes shattered, demolished, purely by the injustice of the Spanish government in standing by and doing nothing to protect them.
    Full compensation would be a positive start and perhaps the strong animosity towards the state by people stuck with illegal properties may turn something bad into something good.

  2. Mario is a very talented individual and if there were more people like him in positions of authority in Spain, we would never have got into this car crash of a situation in the first place.

    I hope this is the beginning of a satisfactory and final solution to the problem but there is some way to go yet. The Junta de Andalucia (not the central government in Madrid) are responsible for the so called illegal building situation and subsequent demolitions but now the C’s have formed a pact with the Junta, hopefully the end is finally in sight. Sadly, this is unlikely to help the people who have already had their properties demolished and it will take many years for reputations and trust to be restored.

  3. Jane, surely the government make and passes laws and with one swell swoop could make all illegal properties legal which would over-ride any law’s of the Junta de Andalucia.

    It’s like the British government passing a law which all counties must abide too, like it or not.

    • If only. They are big on devolved power in Spain and planning laws are governed by the various regional governments. The penal code law changes are made by the national government in Madrid. For what it’s worth, I think that planning laws should be taken away from regional governments.

  4. Jane, Instead of the courts giving compensation against the builders and had known the builders had gone bankrupt the compensation should have been set against the law society for not controlling the legal profession. That would have shaken the law society who would kick out the baddies and not the poor individuals that had suffered and still in the wilderness. The trouble is, too many are covered behind a Ltd Co. Same as in the UK.

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