Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tense times

A tense quarrel broke out yesterday between the mayor of Bigastro, the Socialist Jose Joaquin Moya and the spokesman of the opposition, Aurelio Murcia . The mayor ordered the Local Police to expel Murcia from the office of the " municipal groups " during a press conference which he was holding. After he had left, Murcia responded by denouncing Moya at the Guardia Civil office in Jacarilla for denial of fundamental rights.

The press conference was called to officially communicate the resignation of the first lieutenant mayor, Mari Carmen Grau. Murcia along with Jose Antonio Ricart and other councilmen, appeared in the room intending to follow the development of the press conference. Moya asked them to leave because, he claimed their presence was a "provocation". Moya claimed he was dealing with an internal matter for his government team - not a general subject for the municipality - and they " are not only citizen but also councilmen for the opposition ".

According to Murcia, Moya then took the two opposition councilors by the arm and proceeded to push them. Murcia said that as citizen of Bigastro they had every right to be in the municipal building and refused to leave until the Local Police or the Guardia Civil ordered them.

When the press conference finally started: Mari Carmen Grau, in the presence of the spokeswoman of the group, Immaculada Martinez, reiterated over and over again that there is no crisis in the government team. She explained that her resignation is purely for family reasons. It is still not clear who will assume the role of Grau. It could be either Imaculada Martinez or the young councillor for Urbanism and Property, Raul

In a later press conference, Aurelio Murcia claimed that the resignation of Mari Carmen Grau is the result of confrontations between her and Immaculada Martinez. Murcia says that the first months of this term of office show that " the boat of Moya leaks throughout".

Murcia feels that is is possible that there will be further resignations from the governing group. Murcia alluded to the economic difficulties the Council have faced: the dismissal of 11 workers in June, the non payment of the 28,000€ telephone bill and the disappearance of e.g. the ecological market Lugareco.

The opposition party are obviously not going to allow the PSOE any quarter. Whilst that is what you would expect, let's hope that it does not impede the effective running of the town.

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