Never A Dull Moment
Some of you may remember that in the local elections last year the outcome was a perfect stand-off between the three main parties - four seats for Partido Popular (PP), four for the socialist party (PSOE) and three for my own party, the Andalusian Party (PA). After negotiations and poker faced intransigence right up to the last moment (to be precise, less than five minutes before a new mayor had to be sworn in) PP agreed to the red line demands of PA and a pact was agreed to govern in coalition. Almost immediately after the swearing-in PP began backtracking on one point of agreement after another, making it extremely difficult for the three 'junior partner' councillors. This was largely something going on behind closed doors. At the beginning of this week though, José Antonio the mayor informed his (PA) deputy without any prior discussions that he was stripping him of his functions which would henceforth be carried out by a PP councillor. Paco held an emergency meeting with his two colleagues who agreed that this was totally unacceptable and the following morning they each resigned their own portfolios. The three PA councillors will now sit in opposition. So now the ruling party has four seats whereas between them the two parties in opposition have seven seats. However, historically there has been a great deal of animosity between PSOE and PA and so it is far from clear how effectively the opposition will oppose. On Thursday night, for instance, PP presented to a full Council meeting a budget for the coming year which included a 10% pay increase for the mayor, and the extension of a paid post to another PP councillor. PA voted against this budget before further discussions had been held over the salary proposals. PSOE who have consistently voted against each annual budget, and who declared in their election manifesto last year that if elected they would seek to reduce the money spent on salary payments to councillors........ abstained. I'm interested to see what happens next.