Expat SOHA leader is new mayor of Alcaucín

EWN exclusive interview

ALCAUCIN has invested the expatriate Belgian, Mario Blancke, as mayor of the town. Blancke has been a long-term campaigner with SOHA, the Axarquia organisation calling for better legal protection for home buyers.
After the swearing-in ceremony on Saturday June 13, where the overflowing council halls witnessed scores of well-wishing supporters waiting in the corridor and stairs to congratulate him, Mario Blancke, the new mayor, gave his inaugural speech.
Obviously a popular choice, and after a very closely fought election, he is one of the three Ciudadanos councillors elected for Alcaucín, who have formed a coalition with three PSOE socialist councillors to gain a majority over the five remaining councillors, four from the conservative PP and one from Partido Andalucista (PA).
Mr Blancke told the Euro Weekly News: “I am thrilled to be the mayor for the next four years, I know I can make a difference to the town.”
Mario Blancke takes the mayor’s role, while his counterpart from PSOE will be deputy mayor.
“We have ideas and plans to create more employment here in the town, and also to initiate programs that will draw more tourists here in the non-summer months,” he said. “Also we will be pushing programmes for additional agricultural activity.”
Mario, who has been the councillor in charge of urban development for the past four years, has become very popular with the large expatriate community, as well as with a section of the established Spanish residents.
One of the main reasons for his popularity is the hard work he has put into working on the legalisation of properties as a spokesman for SOHA. “One of our first issues is a meeting on June 17, where issues regarding the legalisation of homes will be addressed,” he said.

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