One of the other topics for discussion yesterday in our Spanish class was about the way the country has wasted money. The list included the famous airport at Castellón which cost 150 million euros to build and has never opened. Closer to home though, we talked of the magnificent auditorium at Torrevieja ( next to the private hospital) which also stands closed for much of the year.
The socialist government of Zapatero, saw fit to grant money to each town in Spain over a two year period. The idea was that this would enable towns to effect improvements that they could not afford otherwise. It was also aimed at providing much needed work at the time when the crisis was starting to bite hard.
There were several projects in Bigastro that were paid for in this way. The main one that springs to mind was the relaying of pavement on Calle Purisima. Sadly, everyone seems to agree that the previous cobbles were much better because the new ones are uneven and difficult to walk on. A lot of the sand grouting has now washed away making the cobbles even more dangerous.
The socialists also chose to improve the road that comes into the town from the Jacarilla roundabout. If they had completed the work right from the roundabout into the town it might have made sense but the work only stretched to the site where the last houses were scheduled to be built. Alongside the new road, they built a cycle path which goes to nowhere. I can honestly say, I have never seen a cyclist on the path nor have I seen many walking along the newly laid footpath with its fancy street lighting, trees and stone benches.
Then there is the viewpoint at the top of the town where children were supposedly going to gather and listen to stories. I haven’t been there recently but I’d like to bet that it is now littered with rubbish and the walls are covered in graffiti.
These examples from Bigastro can be replicated throughout Spain. Each town will have similar tales to tell of money wasted on projects that nobody actually wanted.