IN the 1960’s, Manuel Fraga coined the phrase, ‘Spain is different’.
If he were around now he might be tempted to add, ‘but Mijas is unique!’ I would suggest that Mijas is the only Council in Spain, maybe in Western Europe, with five times the number of councillors in opposition than in government.
Yes, we have five councillors ‘running’ the Council and 20 in opposition.
This has arisen due to Mayor Maldonado breaking his third pact with the other parties.
It’s not a problem for them to divide around 70 departments between them and to manage 850 staff and 300 workers on the minimum wage scheme.
Apparently, this is the result of a 40-year-old law preventing a vote of no confidence within 50 weeks of an election.
But fear not, Mayor Maldonado has randomly hand-picked five individuals to help.
These are clearly not elected people, but when you add together the ‘consultants’ they already have, there are more unelected officials running Mijas than there are to the contrary: five councillors and 10 ‘consultants’.
It sounds more like Venezuela than Spain.
We have our very own Mijas politburo!
Did I mention that these individuals happen to be experts in election campaigns?
It would be naughty of me to suggest that he plans to use them for his, as surely that would be bordering on illegal.
In reality, Mijas has begun the year with the type of chaos we have become used to.
The police Union wrote a strong letter to the Mayor (who is technically head of the police) complaining that officers had holes in their boots, no spare trousers, and no rainproof jackets.
So what did Maldonado do? He bought them non regulation issue Taser pistols, which they cannot use as are they are not licensed to carry or use them.
Then there is the €7,500 in fines because they did not pay the social security for the Renta Básica workers.
But, really this is a small fine compared to the €430,000 that has already accumulated for a variety of administrative errors.
What is worse is that someone decided to pay these workers late this month. People are on the Renta Básica precisely because they have no financial stability, and they pay them late!
There is some good news though.
Only this week the Maldonado Quintet announced €28 million worth of projects, and apparently they have just remembered that there are donkeys in Mijas Pueblo, and want to do something about this situation, after almost four years of doing nothing.
It is amazing what an upcoming election does to the motivation and to the memory.
I would be churlish to suggest that everything they are now proposing has anything to do with them about to be kicked out of Government and needing to look good.
I suggest that Mayor Maldonado’s €100,000 a year of tax-payers’ money for his image consultants has not been money well-spent.