Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain
in the Autumn for a month or so

'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Dispute over the transfer of Mazarrón covered market heightens with court judgement

The imminent transfer of the existing covered market in Mazarrón to new and larger premises in the avenida de la Constitución ('Constitution Avenue') took a dramatic turn with the issuance of an injunction on Friday 24th September in the Contencioso-Administrativo número 7 de Murcia ('Court of Administrative Litigation Murcia number 7') halting the closure of the existing market; the news came at 3pm in the afternoon and prompted the town's Mayor, Francisco Blaya, to issue an edict definitively closing the existing plaza at 9am Saturday 25th September (i.e. yesterday).

The court has summoned both parties (the Town Council and the stall-holders of the existing market) to a meeting next Wednesday (29th September) at 9.30am to try and resolve the issue.

Despite the injunction, the Town Council has announced that the new market will open as scheduled on Monday 27th September at 9am; it contends that the court injunction refers only to the closure of the existing market, but has no effect on the opening of the new facility. The whole dispute has been simmering for a number of years and those interested may read some of the material put out by the opponents of the move in a the rather fiery blog ¡¡¡NO!!! AL TRASLADO DE LA PLAZA DE ABASTOS DE MAZARRON ('No!!! to the transfer of the market-place of Mazarrón') - as well as the articles themselves, some of the comments are pretty alarming in tone.

The new market has apparently cost nearly 2 million Euros, financed by a grant under the Plan E del Estado ('State E-Plan') - this is a government-funded project to try and protect the economy and employment in the wake of the recession which has affected Spain (and many parts of the world) in the past few years - the dedicated website is here; its raison d'être is explained here.

Two additional law-suits have been filed by those opposed to the move, based on alleged evidence supplied by whistle-blowers; the cases involve two alleged counts of forgery of public documents and two relating to allegations of administrative malfeasance.

I am not competent to express an opinion on any aspect of this dispute, except to say that it appears to revolve around disputes between supporters of the ruling political party in the city, the Partido Popular (currently the opposition nationally) and the PSOE (the 'Socialist Party' which currently forms the national government); the basic mertis of either side of the dispute are unknown to me.

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