Estepona financial problems far from over

THE former Estepona Mayor used grants awarded to it for town hall projects to pay town hall day-to-day bills, and now this money must be repaid.

This was revealed by current Estepona Mayor, Jose Maris Garcia Urbano, whi said that at the end of Valadez’s term in office – he was replaced by Urbano at the May local elections – from €3.6 million awarded to the town for special projects, only €300,000 remained, according to Councillor Manuel Aguilar.

Mayor Urbano said: “the rest, €3,300,000 was used to pay running costs.” As this money was not used for what it was supposed to be, the town hall now has to repay the funds, Urbano said.

So far, demands for repayment of such funds amounting to more than €1 million has been received by the town hall, and town hall sources say they expect more to come.

The town hall received a letter from the regional tourism department demanding it returns €240,000 awarded to Estepona in 2008 to make improvements to the historic centre which were never carried out.

Meanwhile, following a meeting between the mayor and regional government representative Rafael Fuentes, the latter stated the Junta de Andalucia would be “permissive” and not demand urgent repayment of such funds.

During Valadez’s term in office as mayor, news of financial problems at the Estepona Town Hall frequently made the headlines of local press.

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