Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The deed is done

In the past I described the alliance between the PP and the UPLC in Bigastro as unholy and it was. Given that Aurelio Murcia was dismissed from the PP before the 2011 elections in favour of Charo Bañuls, it is hardly surprising that the two did not see eye to eye on many issues. As politicians, they are very different in style. Still, she was Mayor and he was Deputy and so they tried to work together.

That was until Murcia attempted to rally the Socialists, led by Raul Valerio Medina, into a motion of censure. The Socialists were having none of it, the wounds between the PSOE and Murcia are deeper than those between Murcia and the PP.

The final blow came when Murcia told the press that he worked harder than the mayor and so should command a higher salary. For Bañuls that was a step too far and so she asked her local party if she could expel the two Liberal councillors from the government team. The local executive of the PP gave her their unanimous support.

What does that mean?

Bañuls says that she will assume responsibility for Planning and Works and Services whilst Sonia Belmonte, who will be Deputy Mayor, will take on Education and Health. Aurelio Murcia and Fernando Moya will loose both status and their salaries from August.

This whole business could not come at a worse time for the PP who now only have the support of their five councillors  against the eight in opposition. Their three million euro austerity plan will have a rough ride through council. An alternative of a further three million euro loan is being considered.

You can bet that Murcia, Moya and the PSOE will fight either plan point by point and may even decide to force a censure vote which could topple the present administration.

We know that Murcia is a very astute politician who would not risk his and his colleagues future on a whim. I would therefore not be surprised to discover that there a long term plan underlying his recent announcements to the press. Bañuls says that the door is still open to a reformation of the pact between the PP and the UPLC. If that happens, I imagine it will be very much on Murcia’s terms because, as things stand, I would say that she needs his support more than he needs hers.

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