Monday, 4 July 2011

A new man, and a new party, at the head of Diputación

José Loaiza García
CÁDIZ (Agencies) Diputación de Cádiz is the provincial authority for the province. It actually means that it is the Junta's 'deputation' there. Yet another layer of buraucracy, one might think (and one might be right). In any case, the political colour of Diputación has been the red of PSOE since democracy returned to Spain in the 1970s. In a few days' time, however, the colour turns to the blue of PP, a turn of events not entirely unexpected after local elections on May 22 (and which impacts Mancomunidad de Municipios del Campo de Gibraltar in exactly the same way, but more of that later). Heading the provincial authority from that time on will be José Loaiza García.>>>
Loaiza is of the opinion that Diputación is not there to serve municipalities of over 50,000 inhabitants. There are matters such as culture, tourism or sport that are the job of the Junta or the Ayuntamientos, he says.

"Diputación exists to help municipalities of less than 20,000 people, which is our priority, and who we will help first if needed. There will be enough for everyone, but the rest must be residual. What is left over, for those bigger towns if possible."

The provincial authority has been operating almost under wraps, he thinks, and therefore, his team aims at being absolutely transparently. "When we were in opposition, we were denied straight answers to averything. There was always an evaseve answer. Nothing was straightforward," say Loaiza, who has said that things will now be different, though without any sense of revenge.

Asked about the financial situation he is about to preside, he says that things do not look particularly healthy, but Diputación "will not be throwing money away" on unnecessary things, which, he adds, was the way it operated before. As an example, he points to a Carnival group in Cádiz that was made up entirely of PSOE members that got a grant for their perfomance but never performed. "That kind of thing will stop immediately."

About nepotism and the like ('enchufismo'), which Diputación has been reknown for practically from its very beginning, Loaiza says, "When the river sounds, it is carrying water (or, 'there is no smoke without fire') but we will try to do things as openly, as clearly as possible. The finances are not such that we can put anyone else in, and we will have to cut back on staff, but especially on jobs that have no clear reason to be there."

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