Local Administration Law “attacks citizen rights”

The Mayor of Adeje held a press conference this morning (Monday February 24 2014) to announce that the Council will be using all the resources at their disposal to counter the effects of the 2013 ‘Ley de racionalización y sostenibilidad de la administración local’ or local administration rationalisation law. The mayor, who was joined at the press conference by councillors Andrés Pérez Ramos and Adolfo Alonso Ferrera, said the new law was one which worked to “distance citizens from their fundamental rights”.

The Mayor announced that he was calling an extraordinary council session for tomorrow (25/02/2014) to seek a united front on what he named a brutal attack on local self government. “This law limits the borough’s autonomy and will convert local administrations into monitoring institutions, while at the same time depriving citizens of a basic instrument which allows them access to the council and to participate in local affairs….” he said.
“In Spain”, he continued, “local administrations generate the lowest tax burden, have a good record on budgetary stability and only account for 4 % of the national debt.”. He added that given the relatively good turn out at local elections, it was clear that public dissatisfaction was lowest when it came to local councils.
The new law has already been heavily criticised by the Council for the State who have said there is a conflict with the Spanish constitution. The same accusation has been made at European level with the European Council stating that the new law deprives citizens of the kind of access to local government that is needed to resolve local problems. It would also appear to go against the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government which states that local bodies must be autonomous to properly serve their community.
The Mayor explained that there are currently more than 8,000 boroughs in Spain and one of the objectives is to collectively bring the law to the attention of the Constitutional Court. This can be done if there is a majority of councils in favour of the move. The petition will seek to have the implementation of the law suspended and its application annulled. According to Rodríguez Fraga there are already a host of political parties signed up to support the move to annul the law.