|Estación in the distance|
JIMENA (Agencies) Councillor Pedro Corbacho (PP) is in charge of the municipal exchequer. He feels that we are at the mercy of the Junta de Andalucía (PSOE, elections looming) because the municipality is supposed to return €205,126.51, plus €78,136.43 in interest that was granted to the previous (PSOE) Council to build a centre for the elderly in the Gurugú section of Estación. It was never built, but the money is no longer there either. The Junta is asking for the money back, and as long as it is not returned, it can close off a major part of Jimena's income from the so-called Patrica share-out system. The previous PSOE Council received a total of €270,126.61 between 2003 and 2004 for>>>this specific purpose - and all there is is the skeleton of a structure and an enormous debt, about which the new Council was notified on September 30th last year. About the grant money, Corbacho says "it was probably used to pay wages, but we don't know. Indeed, some Junta money has already been retained in this regard, to the tune of €90,579 (€65,000 plus €25,579 interest). Corbacho complained recently about what he sees as excessive interest, but he is working on a payment plan that he will be proposing to the Junta shortly in order not to restrict the municipality's already-parlous income any further. The Patrica payments are received every quarter but he has "no idea if they will be retaining any money or not." In any case, that money is essential to "meet our debt with Social Security," he added. That debt amounts to over €1 million and if it is not paid in parts as agreed, further income is lost from the PIE, or the state-allotted distribution of national monies. As for the centre itself, the Councillor says that it is going to be very difficult to finish it get it up and running. "The municipal coffers are empty, so I can't see it happening," he says.