Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The billboard says, “we shorten distances, we bring people closer”.

image These large billboards have been erected by  the Ministry of Public Works and Economy at one of the main accesses to Orihuela to announce the start of work on the high speed train link.

This has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many living here because  the city council has heard nothing for months about the contentious section of the line which will run between Orihuela and the Vereda de la Buena Vida. Nothing has been said about the proposed modifications to the route which threatens to cut across streets and avenues. The cost of this section alone is estimated to be a staggering119.8 million Euros.

Mainly people are bitter because, they would prefer to see modernisation of what they describe as a “third world train” between Elche and Murcia, a project that has been put on hold for ten years because the AVE has been given preference.

When the President of Spain announced wide spread cuts in expenditure, I suspect most would have expected this to include work on the AVE. If that is to be the case, then they have already wasted a lot of money on billboards with fancy meaningless slogans. However, if the AVE, that no one seems to want, does go ahead then all those council workers and civil servants who are facing wage cuts will not be best pleased.

Whilst I am on my soapbox, why is it necessary to erect expensive billboards anyway? There are several in Bigastro announcing projects that have been undertaken using Plan E money. Surely, most people are aware of the work that is going on, they don’t need an eyesore of a billboard to tell them what they can see with their own eyes. In my opinion, their main purpose if to tell us how good the council or the government are for carrying out this work.

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