ROJALES is one of the richest municipalities in Valencia, with an estimated 10 MILLION euros stashed in it’s coffers.
But, according to councillors it is unable to spend it despite a series of vital and necessary repairs and developments.
It comes after the Olive Press reported in our last issue that the town hall blamed a lack of spending in nearby Quesada on unforeseen delays and an estimated 19,000 expats not registering on the padron.
However, a document from Rojales Town Hall, dated from October 24, reveals that the town is financially healthy ‘without any debt and with a credit surplus of €10m’.
“Rojales is one of the healthiest in the entire Valencian community, without any debt,” the letter states.
Incredibly, 15% of the annual budget has not been spent for the last seven years, claims the leader of local independent party Pader, Desiderio Araez (left).
“Why hasn’t this money been spent in the area, especially when we are desperate for work on the roads in Quesada, improved rubbish collections and many other things?” he asked.
“There are so many areas where this surplus cash could be spent, and blaming poor padron registrations is just spreading fake news!”, he claimed.
The council hit back insisting its accounts were ‘responsible and prudent’ and told the Olive Press it was unable to spend the money due to rules from Madrid.
Derek Monks, Councillor for Integration, explained: “Rojales has had a surplus for a number of reasons, but the Spanish government won’t allow us to spend it yet.”
The problems came when Spain’s former PP government implemented harsh austerity measures when the worldwide recession hit.
It meant any leftover budgets from previous years, called ‘remanentes’, could not be spent and would be put across to offset the national deficit.
“Dozens of towns have these surpluses they can’t spent,” insisted Fernando Suria Lorenzo, the Finance Councillor at Rojales (right)
However, this might finally be about to change with the incoming PSOE government set to allow town hall’s to spend 30% of last year’s surplus for a start.
It would be €200,000 in the case of Rojales.
Apart from urgent repairs, which will start on January 7, the town hall told the Olive Press last month, a Rojales ‘Master Plan’ will eventually include a new road and bridge linking the east of the town, at Pueblo Lucero, with the CV-95 ‘fast road’ in and out of the area