THE mayor of Jaen has refused to take a pay cut as part of the Spanish government’s austerity measures.
Socialist Carmen Penalver has refused to impose Spanish PM Jose Luis Zapatero’s salary reductions on any of her town hall colleagues.
“These are nothing more than empty measures, it is merely a way of trying to look like the good guys of this debacle,” she explained.
“There are those who just want to look like the heroes, while others want to speak the truth.”
It came after Zapatero confirmed that his salary and those of senior cabinet ministers would be cut by 15 per cent.
But while others, such as Mijas mayor Antonio Sanchez, joined suit – his 13 PSOE councillors all took a voluntary 10 per cent pay cut – Penalver flatly refused.
The moves have thrown politicians around the region into the spotlight.
One, PP mayor of Fuengirola, Esperanza Ona has been criticised for owning three official cars.
Despite being entitled to one, Ona also boasts a Peugeot 707 and Volkswagen Passat – worth 150,000 euros, both paid for by the town hall.
The austerity measures announced by Zapatero to reduce spiralling government debt have also blocked town halls from entering any long-term credit deals.
The ban – lasting untill 2012 – will not come into effect until January next year. It came after figures revealed that Spain’s town halls were 28 billion euros in debt.
In particular, Andalucia’s councils owed 4.5 billion euros, with Malaga town hall alone owing 720 million euros.
Zapatero’s drastic cuts got the go-ahead in the closest of decisions.
In a knife-edge verdict, 169 voted in favour of the 15bn-euro package with 168 in opposition.
The proposal – which includes wage cuts of five per cent for civil servants and huge public investment cuts – was met with widespread criticism.
- IN PICS: This paradise retreat has won international acclaim and is just 15 minutes from Spain’s Costa del Sol (read for special Olive Press offer) - 17 May, 2019 @ 09:37
- EXCLUSIVE : Over 96% of Madrid’s hotels FULL as prices skyrocket to €26,000 for two nights on Champions League weekend - 11 May, 2019 @ 16:26
- Freddie Starr dies in Spain - 9 May, 2019 @ 23:50
- Madrid’s born-again Gran Hotel Ingles is the lap of Belle Epoque luxury, discovers Olive Press editor Jon Clarke - 5 May, 2019 @ 10:08
- Witnesses describe ‘bloodbath’ after British soldier ‘glassed by her pal’ in Mallorca club - 16 Apr, 2019 @ 10:45
- La La lovin’ it! New organic olive oil ‘experience’ in Ronda - 18 Mar, 2019 @ 14:27
- The Cat’s Whiskers: Is Sierra de Gata Spain’s most delightful region? - 16 Feb, 2019 @ 10:00
- Why Sotogrande’s La Gran Reserva is one of Andalucia’s most exciting new developments - 23 Nov, 2018 @ 12:15
- How the Olive Press has survived 300 issues – and is continuing to grow - 14 Sep, 2018 @ 09:48
- How a Costa del Sol-based financial services business gives back to the community - 18 Aug, 2018 @ 16:58