The PP have now taken control of the Diputación de Almería (think County Council, only useless and very expensive), and Gabriel Amat, the new President of this august body, has started off by firing all the “useless, unnecessary and not needed” positions that he claimed the PSOE have created over the last few years.
It’s not just hot air, either. The previous Diputación had a total of 76 positions, the new Diputación has just 28 – meaning 48 politicians have not been invited back after the elections to take up a position. The Diputación has been cut to its very bare bones, the positions required by law / necessity. Amat still makes 70,561€ a year, tho’. (Plus expenses).
These positions are, traditionally, nice little jobs for the lads which involve very little heavy lifting, in exchange for a large salary (40-90k a year).
I wrote about this waaaay back in 2008 (Jobs for the boys – the asesor scandel). Worth a ready. A local journalist got one of the chaps to admit just what a scam the whole thing was.
You may well remember the “Special appointment for climate change in the province”, a lovely example of this, when Jose Navarro, previously the PSOE Mayor of Turre, was standing in the way of a coalition between the PSOE and an independent group in Turre, which would kick out Arturo Grima (PP) who had won the municipal elections. (Hey! Arturo got back in this year!). So, to get rid of him and ensure that the PSOE took control of Turre, he was appointed to the position of Special Advisor on Climate Change to the Diputacion. Sorry, climate change? This from the chap who wanted to build 75,000 houses in the Sierra Cabrera? (B.O.P. De Almeria, 23 Julio). He earnt €2,900 a month (net) plus expenses, and was only seen in his office once, when he put a few photos up and signed the necessary documents.
Well, this position has been deemed “unnecessary” and has been dumped by Amat. Remember – this position doesn’t involve a large office full of clever people trying to work out how to prevent global warming in the province. Jose got a business card, and was deemed to be an expert which the Diputación could call on should they wonder something about climate change. He had no staff, no responsability, no real work. Just a fat cheque.
Gabriel Amat says that this simple move has saved the Diputación two million euros a year in salaries for these 48 positions. That’s an average salary per position of… 41,666€ a year each. Not bad.
Mind you, each political party gets 15,000€ a year for each representative on the Diputacuón (why?), and you get 368€ for turning up to a Pleno (full board meeting). 184€ if you turn up for an “informative commission”. For making sure people attend meetings, I suppose it’s a better incentive than free donuts…
The sad thing is that I would’nt be at all surprised if this was : A) Commonplace in every Town and Village across Spain, and B) Going to happen again as soon as the PP have got their feet under the table.