Orihuela council spending on trips and meals revealed

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PSOE criticises €760,000 of public money used for expenses but €600,000 set aside for social aid was not spentruiz

The Orihuela Socialists (PSOE) have revealed what public money the Partido Popular (PP) council has spent on trips and meals. On its website Orileaks, the opposition party shows there are 400 receipts totalling €760,000 which include “food, meals in restaurants or bottles of wine which in many cases it is not known who they were for”, said PSOE councillor Víctor Ruiz.

He revealed that €2,000 was spent on nights in hotels for the mayor and advisors, and taking Councillor Begoñá Cuartero from her house to the airport cost €140.

New receipts for meals and catering total over €70,000 and the cost of councillors and advisors’ mobile phone bills has also been published.

Orileaks also shows 30 new minor contracts including one with a company for advice about European EDUSI grants for €21,000. Ruiz noted that in the last 18 months they have not seen any European funds being spent in the municipality.

He reminded that the PSOE is publishing these details because by law the council should be doing it.

The recent Agriculture and Food Symposium in Orihuela cost the Town Hall €41,926 to organise.

On top of this the food expenses included over €16,000 on a contract which included three coffee breaks and a cake in tribute to the late poet Miguel Hernández totalling €5,850; one for wine, stew, cake, salad and cold cuts for €5,050; 250 portions of sea bream and vegetable mille-feuille costing €1,251; 125 portions of deboned lamb with vegetables for €1,248; and one for furnishings, seats and dishes etc, for €2,645.

“This is just the beginning and this edition will exceed the cost of the last one,” he said. “Everyone in Orihuela is paying for this out of their own pockets.”

“The PSOE is in favour of an agriculture conference but we completely oppose big events that only result in photos and gluttony paid for by everyone in Orihuela,” said Ruiz, and reminded that only a week ago the PSOE revealed the Town Hall had not spent over €600,000 it had reserved for helping young people, women, the unemployed and social collectives.

“This is what happens when those in charge have no respect or shame,” he concluded.

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