THE mayor who won election by the toss of a coin is facing calls for his resignation after the state opened a corruption investigation in one of Granada’s smallest villages.
Salvador Rodriguez, the Partido Popular (PP) leader of the council of Carataunas, is alleged to have given permission for a housing development on non-urban land.
The judicial probe centres on the Haza del Macabe development, a block of 65 apartments including a swimming pool and garages, at the southernmost edge of the village.
According to claims, the development stands outside the urban boundaries of the village, meaning it cannot receive basic municipal services, such as refuse collection.
It is also believed there is no guaranteed water supply to the apartment block.
Now, the PSOE party is demanding Rodríguez stand down from the position he has held for 12 years.
“Once again, the love affair the Partido Popular has with land and bricks is brought to our attention. This party does not govern for its electorate but for itself,” provincial secretary José García Giralte said.
Rodriguez – who gained re-election in May by the toss of a coin after receiving the same amount of votes as the socialist candidate – denies any irregularities.
He claims he only gave the go ahead for the development after receiving favourable technical reports.
“If I had ever thought the project was illegal, I would never have given it the go ahead,” he said.
He also denied claims the development is under construction on non-urban land.
The council secretary and technical architect are also both under investigation.
With no shop or school, Carataunas with only 181 residents and 81 permanently inhabited homes is one of the smallest villages in the Alpujarra mountain region.
However, current construction is set to double the population and amount of homes, placing a huge strain on the area’s natural resources and infrastructure.
Besides the Haza del Macabe apartment block, a development of luxury homes is under construction – and this is too is at the centre of a legal investigation.
Work on the Bancal del Barrio Alto development was stopped in June this year after a Granada court ruled it was being constructed on green belt land.