WITH municipal elections looming across Spain, how much exactly do the country’s mayors earn in exchange for making things run in our towns and regions?

The top earning mayors in the country, unsurprisingly, reign over Madrid and Barcelona, in Jose Luis Martínez-Almeida (PP) and ??Ada Colau (Barcelona en Comu) respectively.

In the most recent figures for 2023, both breach the €100,000 mark – leaving even President Pedro Sánchez’s €90,000 salary in the dust.

Isabel Diaz Ayuso In Madrid, Spain 11 May 2023
The mayor of Madrid and candidate for reelection, Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, participate in the opening ceremony of the Madrid PP campaign, in the Plaza Felipe II of the capital, in the neighborhood of Goya, in Madrid, Spain. (Credit Image: © Atilano Garcia/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire)
mayor of barcelona e
Barcelona mayor Ada Colau, who is one of the top-earning mayors in Spain

But in a surprise first place, the highest paid mayor in Spain is Juan Mari Aburto of Bilbao, who earns €115,299 per year.

In the costas, the large cities dominate the salary metrics.

Valencia mayor Joan Ribo (Compromís) takes home €92,442 in 2021; Malaga mayor Francisco de la Torre (PP) snaffles €87,325 and Jose Antonio Serrano (PP) of Murcia pockets €86,787.

In the Balearics, Palma mayor Jose Hila gets paid €62,732; Ibiza mayor Rafa Ruiz earns €59,539 and Caliva mayor Alfonso Rodríguez makes €59,451.

Premios Feroz
Juan Mari Aburto (centre) attends the red carpet during the Feroz 2019 Awards at the Bilbao Arena on January 19, 2019 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Ion Alcoba / Cordon Press)

Elsewhere, on the Costa del Sol, second place is held by the mayor of Fuengirola, Ana María Mula (PP), with €69,134.10 and then Velez-Malaga mayor Antonio Moreno Ferrer (PSOE) with €65,114. 

A couple of notable absentees from the list are Marbella mayor Angeles Muñoz and Estepona mayor Jose María Garcia Urbano, who both draw their primary salary from other public positions. 

Over on the east coast, Luis Barcala (PP), the mayor of Alicante earns €73,564.76; Toni Pérez (PP) of Benidorm is paid €67,013 and in third place is Orihuela boss Emilio Bascuñana (PP), on €66,142.53.

Sevilla boasts a generous €87,463 salary for Mayor Antonio Muñoz, notable for being a 37% pay rise on 2019. This is reportedly explained away as it being the first pay rise in 28 years. 

Popular Party Precampaign Rally In Malaga, Spain 05 May 2023
Spanish Popular candidate for municipal elections and current Malaga mayor Francisco de la Torre is seen delivering a speech as he takes part in an electoral pre-campaign event. (Photo by Jesus Merida / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Goya Awards Presentation In Valencia, Spain 10 September 2021
September 10, 2021, Valencia, Spain: Joan Ribo mayor of Valencia speaking during the presentation at Palau de les Arts.(Credit Image: © Xisco Navarro Pardo/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire)

And, bizarrely, little Vitoria – population 252,571 – in the Basque country, makes its mayor, Gorka Urtaran of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), the fifth highest paid in Spain with a hefty €93,224 a year.

But he’s not alone; the region is the highest paying overall in Spain.


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