When the newly widened N332 road reopened in 2009, being completed in 2010, as the praise on the efforts to ease the burden of traffic was levied and accepted by those in power, a secret matter was waiting to return to haunt those involved for years to come.
In 2008 land owners who saw their ground snapped up as part of the widening scheme were given a financial award for their loss, but the courts would later decree that the amount given was not enough, the announcement being made earlier this year that Orihuela would have to pay 1.2 million euro to make up for the errors of that period.
The Partido Popular were running the government team at the time of the opening of the road, replaced by what is now a coalition of the Los Verdes and PSOE, but it is the municipality who faces the threat of legal action should the government not respond immediately.
Despite not expecting to pay such a huge amount during their administration, the bipartite team have managed to set aside the money to pay the court allocated costs, but despite their now best intentions, the now opposition party of the PP, along with CLARO, look set to further complicate matters, forcing the government team to launch their own legal action to enable them to try to pay.
The Mayor of the municipality, Monserrate Guillén of Los Verdes, appeared with the councillor for Finance, socialist Carolina Gracia, to announce that the Superior Tribunal of Justice has given the City of Orihuela twenty days to pay the 1.2 million euro.
Guillén continued to explain that the money is available in the municipal accounts, but the government are unable to make the payment “without prior approval”, for which they need a majority vote, which would have to include support from the PP or CLARO members. However, as the Partido Popular and CLARO alliance has said that they will block any plans by the government, using their majority to rule from opposition, the government has had to advise the court of the fact that they are paralysed and unable to take the appropriate action.
The Mayor explained that the bipartite team presented a supplement in June to cover the payment, but the initiative was rejected by all PP councillors, as well as Bob Houliston and Asunción Mayoral from the Clr group, in a move that he says shows an “intolerable lack of responsibility”.
Therefore, the government team concluded their announcements to state that they have now filed a complaint in the courts, as the government consider that those members whose actions in prevented this legally required notion, have potentially “committed a crime of disobedience”.
Gracia continued to explain that the complaint has been filed under Article 410 of the Penal Code which specifies that a person holding a post in public office who “knowing that a vote is denying the charge against a judicial decision may incur a crime”, also explaining that this case was “one of the legacies of the PP and we wanted to settle it”, noting that the facts date back to 2008 when the expropriated owners had not been paid the actual value of their land.
The government intend to raise the matter once more in this week´s monthly plenary session, to which Gracia has said that if the refusal of the PP persists the only possible solution is to extend the complaint already filed against them.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/41635/