16 Oct, 2009 @ 17:00
1 min read

‘Like being accused of dropping the Hiroshima bomb’

THE Mayor of Ronda has claimed that accusations levelled at him over the passing of a controversial golf project are ‘like accusing him of dropping the Hiroshima bomb’.

On a heated court appearance in Ronda, Antonio Marin Lara rounded on the IU United Left party and local green activists accusing them of ‘terrorism’.

He was defending his decision to approve plans for the Los Merinos golf project, which would include 800 houses and three luxury hotels built on Unesco-protected virgin land.

The mayor, who is already being investigated over other planning crimes, spent two hours in court arguing that there was no “legal fraud” over his actions.

He knew the scheme had been turned down by the Andalucian authorities for a number of reasons.

This was despite admitting he knew the scheme had been turned down by the Andalucian authorities for a number of reasons – in particular the rejection over the issue of water.

But he said his town hall was going to be able to overcome the demand using water from the town’s own sewage works.

He added that the scheme was first included in the PGOU town plan of Ronda in 1993, which was before he was even the mayor.

He also denied that the project was going to alter more than the 25 per cent of the area, as claimed by the IU United Left party that launched the legal action two years ago.

He insisted that, in fact, the multi-million euro scheme would only alter four per cent of the actual area of the area.

This week the Olive Press also reveals (see ‘Los Merinos would gravely endanger local ecosystem’) how a report by three professors insists that seven towns – including Ronda itself – would have their water supply seriously affected if the scheme was allowed to continue.

The geologist and two hydrology professors from Zaragoza and Oviedo ruled that the scheme would “gravely endanger” the local ecosystem.

“It will destroy the rich natural habitat,” claimed their report.

The mayor has now strongly rounded on the IU United Left party and local green groups, insisting he is going to launch his own lawsuit against them.

He said, in particular, he was going to sue the regional coordinator of the party as well as the town’s IU boss Rafa Ruiz.
He accused the party of being a “species of terrorism” and insisted that he expected the case to be thrown out of court.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. Oh dear, the old “UNESCO-protected virgin land” argument again. When will people not understand that protected virgin land means “perfect for building on”.

    Once again, Spain demonstrates a total disregard for their countryside. Let us hope a formidable protest and appeal is launched immediately. Who needs golf courses in a DEPRESSION? This mayor should be booted out of office.

  2. When being in a depression the high class people of Ronda NEED a golf course to forget that crisis…… Those few very rich families in Ronda do not care for their countryside. That is put their millions of years ago only for pleasing them at the moment they want to use it……..
    As they do not care about their environment, just have a look everywhere around and in Ronda. A mess everywhere….

    Their present mayor was before a very good lawyer in Ronda itself and is a very clever person. He will be difficult to defeat in Court….

  3. The big underground parking next to the station is build illegal, there is no permiss on by the Andalusian government as also some changes on the plaza de soccoro…. all approved by this mayor…..

  4. Amazing! For the first time ever on this website, I find myself agreeing with Fred.
    As for Pierre’s allegations, if they are true, watch out Mayor Antonio María Marín Lara, clever lawyer or not!

  5. My allegations are not mine, they are the ones that people from Ronda itself tell me ( and on other occasions they were correct…). But I will see how I can verify these allegations

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