Interesting to note that the blurb for local competitions, such as the numerous poster competitions for various events, now states that tax will be deducted at source if that prize exceeds €300.

The Council has just announced a poster competition for the Nerja Feria 2015 with a first prize of €500, and it included this little titbit about it being subject to tax deductions.

We heard a lot about ‘transparency’, ‘citizen participation’ and ‘change’ in the run-up to the recent municipal elections, so how is this panning out in Nerja so far?

Before the election, the main interest of the ruling PP appeared to be build houses and hotels at El Playazo beach and to find a way to construct a golf course with, more important than the golf course itself, houses and a hotel. There was, of course, no citizen participation involved in such plans – or any plans for that matter.

Then came the elections, with promises from all opposition parties of transparency, citizen participation and change. The PP fell short of an absolute majority by one seat but, instead of being allowed to rule as a minority government, as would usually be the case, pacts were made to put a different minority government in power.

So, what appears to be the prime interest of the new PSOE/IU coalition by all accounts? None other than building houses and hotels at El Playazo beach and trying to find a way to construct a golf course. Wow, totally different to the previous administration!

And the level of citizen participation in formulating this plan has thus far been staggeringly underwhelming.

But we knew this would happen, of course, it invariably does. Politicians make promises they never intend to keep, always have and always will, it’s all part of the game. The Party comes first, the politicians themselves a close second, municipal considerations third and somewhere down the line, way down the food chain, the interests of the average citizen.

As has been quoted by many on numerous occasions: ‘How can you tell when politicians are lying?’. Their lips move.

Maybe there will eventually be a bit of transparency, change or citizen participation, but only a fool would bet on it. There is much to be said, particularly in municipal government, for a system whereby major changes/plans etc are subject to approval by local referendum. It certainly works for the Swiss.