Truth Is The First Casualty

 It seems that in one quarter at least the 2019 election campaign is under way. The past eight years have been blighted by a stream of accusations, misrepresentations, half truths, downright lies and groundless 'denuncias' aimed at those in power at the town hall. The dust has hardly settled from the recent elections and it's started again. I'm tempted to think that the source is the same, though I have no direct evidence.
A couple of evenings ago I was angrily informed that the ruling consejales (councillors) are drawing salariies of 53,000€, and that the alcade (mayor) is getting another 10,000€ on top of that. Quite rightly, the person who told me that was outraged. But the source of his information? "It must be true!everybody is telling me." And, knowung it to be true, he's now telling everyone else. Except it's not true. Someone has fed this false information into the expatriate community where it is spreading like wildfire - and we've enough real fires to worry about at the moment, but that is another story.
Unlike other people I checked this before going public. The highest paid councillors receive 1,500 per month, plus - like all employees in Spain - an additional month's pay at Christmas and in the summer holiday period. Which amounts to 1,500€ x 14 which gives 21,000€, which in turn is in line with average abnual net earnings in Spain. However, you cannot simply multiply this sum by seven councillors. 
The alcalde (Partido Popular) draws the full salary, but nothing over and above that. Two of the remaining PP councillors share a full salary, split 60/40. According to my information, the fourth PP councillor does not draw any salary.
The deputy alcalde (Partido Andalucista) draws a full salary and no extras, whilst a second PA councillor receives a half salary (10,500€) and the third PA councillor receives nothing. So instead of the alleged total of 371,010€ a year in salaries, the actual total is only 73,500€ with no one getting rich from holding office.
These figures, incidentally are not secret; they are available on the Ayuntamiento's website, so I'm bound to conclude that the person who set this off knew that his/her figures were blatantly untrue. In village politics, truth is the first casualty.


Feria 2015

Photographs from the romería and the late night concert. Just the soap box derby and the fireworks to fo today and that's it for another year.


Shattering The Peace And Quiet

It's not easy to describe any Spanish village as quiet except during the hours of siesta. Conversations often take place with the participants at some distance from each other, scooters and small motorcycles tend to be noisy with defective silencers adding to the decibels, and it's quite common to stop your vehicle outside your friend's house and then shout to get his attention. If you tarry too long, a chorus of car horns will encourage you to get out of the way.
Children go noisily to school later to return home equally noisily. In the evenings they are out and about (noisily) with their friends, and no parent would ever think of putting their child to bed before they too are ready to turn in.
Through a process of enculturalisation you evolve to a state of mind in which you cease to consciously notice all this; the village is awash with quiet noise. However, this evening this changes for the rest of the week and across the weekend. Tonight is the start of Feria, the annual fiesta to celebrate the feast of San Antonio de Padua, after whom the village church is named. A fairground has arrived and set up shop in the middle of the village (or, viewed from a different perspective, within 200 metres of our home). A variety of rides are ready to spring into action, each with its own generator, lots of hissing and whistling of compressed air, music playing at brain-numbing volume, and under all the distinct thump, thump, thump of the bass notes. When the rides finally pack up for the night, the disco gets under way at a similar decibel level while the young party through till dawn. The no longer young, by contrast, toss and turn the night away muttering threats and profanities and praying for midnight on Sunday. Last year we went away. This year we are here. Oh well, it's only once a year.


Nothing Yet

We've had a party meeting, two meetings with the other parties and we have another party meeting this evening to hear about those discussions and decide where we go from here. So I still can't tell you anything useful.