On Friday, when it became clear that Bigastro would lose 50% of its government funding if the council did not pass its payment plan to suppliers, the mayor held a meeting with employees to warn them that, in those circumstances, wages would not be paid and services would be cut.
Those employees would have then put pressure on the previous mayor and leader of the socialist group, Raúl Valerio Medina to change his mind and vote with the opposition party. At the time he probably recalled the dark days when his party were in power. Faced with overwhelming budget problems, they delayed payment of salaries to employees for months on end. Clearly, Raúl did not want to return to that situation and neither did those who work for the council.
Raúl was between a “rock and a hard place”. If he had continued to oppose the plan it would have spelt disaster for the town that is already in financial ruin so he conceded to the opposition. In return for the favour to the PP, the ex mayor got none of the concessions that he hoped for.
I imagine that Aurelio Murcia and his Liberal colleague will be bitterly disappointed with Raúl’s change of heart. They, along with three socialist councillors, voted against the motion at both meetings.
For the moment, the pressure is off the ruling party. All is not over yet but knowing that Raúl changed his mind once may make them confident that it can happen again and again. The decision he made on Friday will surely come back to haunt him at future meetings and at the next elections.