The new mayor of Ronda, Maripaz Fernandez, and the deputy mayor Isabel Barriga have exposed damning evidence that the city of Ronda is technically insolvent, has huge public debts of 30 million euros, and will not be able to pay salaries in June.
Speaking to the press, Fernandez and Barriga promised further revelations, and the possibility of denouncing in the Court of Auditors (Tribunal de Cuentas) former mayor Antonio Marin Lara and deputy mayor Francisco Cañestro, both of PSOE, for gross economic mismanagement of public funds, a charge that carries fines, restitution, banning from public office, and other penalties if convicted.
Citing specific examples, Fernandez stated that the municipal treasury has no money and may struggle to pay the salaries and wages of municipal employees in the current month (June 2011), and worse, owes 575,000 euros in unpaid social security payments for municipal employees.
Over 10.5 million euros of outstanding invoices, some dating back as much as 3 years are unpaid to local business operators of all sizes, including cleaning companies, sport operators, construction firms, architects, restaurants and bars, and printing companies. The single largest debt is owed to Soliarsa, the company that keeps Ronda’s streets and parks clean, a figure that exceeds 700,000 euros.
In the current crisis, firms that supply materials for projects being undertaken within Ronda are refusing to supply due to mounting unpaid debts from the city hall. One notable example is the allegation the new youth hostel in Ronda which cost nearly 800,000 euros to build, is essentially complete, yet is still not open for business due to payments being in arrears to suppliers and contractors.