From Diario de Cádiz, 1 Nov 2008 - Translated by Andrew Brown
As widely predicted, the opposition in Chiclana Council (PSOE, PSA and Nadine Fernández) yesterday (31 Oct) threw out legislation put forward by the three-party government to deal with the process of legalising houses in the Área Gestión Básica (AGB).
This rejection was justified by the spokespersons for PSOE José María Román, and for PSA Ángeles Polanco, saying that they were dealing with proposals which were “unviable” and “ruinous”. José Pedro Butrón (IU) and Teresa Ruiz-Silleron (PP) called it “irresponsible” and a “huge betrayal of Chiclana”
The Council meeting, which was marred by the bitter and tense confrontation which exists between Butrón and his former government colleague Polanco, whom he criticised for her “chameleon-like ability to change”, began with the putting forward of the proposed legislation by the PP Urbanisation delegate. He said “with minimal legal requirements, and the maximum saving in the cost to proprietors, it fulfils the promise made to the people of Chiclana to regularise a state of chaos which is without equal in Spain, or even in Europe. A document” he stressed, “which is transparent and open”.
For her part, the PP spokeswoman Ruiz-Sillero highlighted the benefits of the proposal which “as we promised the people of Chiclana, puts forward measures to reduce by a third the cost to home owners, who continue to be without any assistance from the Junta which has pocketed between 2005 and 2007 164 million Euros in property taxes on the transfer of houses in Chiclana” At the same time the PP spokeswoman stressed the urgent need to pass legislation to “promote economic activity in those areas and help companies in Chiclana which, to be sure, will benefit in terms of the work generated and thus create additional employment, through the development of the AGB”
Accused of lying and betraying Chiclana by those who were a few weeks ago her colleagues in government – accusations she indignantly rejected – Polanco argued that her rejection of the proposals was because “it put to one side the vital ingredient for a project of this size; the acceptance and support of the home owners – something that is essential to enable such a complex process to be carried out with a guarantee of success. My position,” she stressed, “has not changed and for the same reasons that I rejected the project proposed by PSOE - and I maintain that view - I also oppose these proposals which are made behind the backs of home owners,”
“Unviable”, “ruinous” and “an electoral swindle” were some of the words which José María Román used to describe some parts of the proposals and he said of the Planning Director “he does not have the support of, nor appreciate what the real issues are to the man in the street. The framework for payment which they are suggesting, the phases of development forecasted and the incalculable and disastrous demands, justify our rejection of a proposal which makes the whole process more expensive and lengthy.”
Román himself intends to revive the proposal put forward by PSOE, “dealing with the development of those areas which are less complex to sort out, as this will create economic growth in those areas and, which is more important, will deal with each individual case taking into account the financial resources of the proprietors of homes.”
The two sides put forward arguments and viewpoints which were completely opposed to one another, and which in the end served to sink what could well be - last-minute surprises apart - the final act of the current government. Nevertheless, Butrón stated his intention to bring before the next full Council meeting the same proposals which were rejected yesterday and to invite all parties to discuss them further.