Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tension in the council

When Aurelio Murcia became the leader of the PP party, his hope was that they would gain the majority vote at the 2007 elections and he would become mayor. In fact, the Socialists were returned to power with an increase in votes.

In opposition, Murcia was a fierce and sometimes outrageous opponent - especially once Raul Valerio Medina replaced the disgraced Joaquin Moya as mayor. The PP clearly  regarded Murcia as a loose cannon and therefore decided to drop him and elect the more acceptable Charo Bañuls as their leader in a bid to oust the Socialists at the 2011 elections.

Murcia went on to form his own Liberal Centrist party which gained two seats on the council. Since neither the Socialists nor the conservative PP had sufficient votes to hold a majority, an unholy alliance was formed between the UPLC and the PP. Although Bañuls  was elected mayor, it is clear to all who was really pulling the strings down at the town hall. Murcia says that, whilst the mayor can walk through the Thursday market without a second glance, it takes him more than an hour because he is being constantly stopped by people. He claims that it is to him that people come to air their grievances and it is he that solves their problems –not the mayor. In other words, she carries the “cane” of office but he and his fellow councillor do all the work.

Two years on, Aurelio Murcia (UPLC) explains that the mayor is paid 2,000 euros per month and he gets 1,500. In fact, in the first year of office,  Murcia says he claimed nothing. It was only in the second year that he started to receive payments.

The proposal that he has made to the press is that the mayor should accept a reduction of 800 euros per month to allow an increase in his salary of 500 euros and that of his fellow UPLC councillor 300 euros. Their respective monthly salaries would then be; Aurelio Murcia – 2,000 euros,  Fernando Moya - 1,500 euros and Charo Bañuls – 1,200 euros.

As you can imagine, this will go down like a lead balloon with the PP and only serve to increase tensions between the partners in government. 

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