Fisticuffs at Turre townhall meeting over corruption claims

You may remember that the new fuente in Turre has been mired in corruption claims, after the opposition said that number 2 in the townhall had got a very sweet deal out of it (read the whole thing here). Both opposition parties have the same story and are vehement in their critiques of the townhall. Juan Ángel (number 2 in the townhall and who planned the fountain) exchanged a bit of land for a lot of land, got compensation, had a new street paved and prepared in case he wanted to build home there and a bit more.

Anyway, opposition councillor Martin Morales (the only decent bloke in the townhall at the moment, INHO) wrote a rather rude expose in his last newsletter la marea roja directly accusing Mayor Grima and councillor for urban planning Juan Ángel of collusion and corruption, and exposing how it was all done. This did not sit well with Mayor Grima.

Grima and Morales went on local radio station Radio Actualidad last weekend, where Grima went into a fantastic rant about Morales and his family, calling them a bunch of communists, said they squatted in an illegal house, were a bunch of drunken wasters and a lot more that shouldn’t be repeated. The interview ended in a nasty way, with Morales storming out and Grima being cut off by the interviewer, who then had a few nasty things to say about people being rude on his radio show.

Mayor Grima then called an extraordinary council meeting this Wednesday, the first such meeting he’s called in the last four years (Grima doesn’t like council meetings very much). The sole issue of the day was a rebuttal of the corruption claims.

Grima, who enjoys talking, went on and on about his innocence, lack of democratic process, etc etc etc for ages, and then once again started to lay into the “dirty lying communist” of Martin Morales, refusing Morales the right of reply. So PSOE leader Rodrigo Sánchez stood up interrupting Grima and started to defend Morales, in an extraordinary move (normally they are at each others throats). He basically said that although he did not agree with how Morales had said it, what Morales had said was true and he supported the claims, and it was good that the public knew the truth.

Grima went nuts and ordered the Local Police to evict Rodrigo from the session. When Rodrigo started to protest, councillor for urban planning Juan Ángel (the man accused of benefiting from the corruption scam) started to lay into him, and the two men started a screaming match. The police forced them apart and escorted Rodrigo out of the council meeting. Juan Ángel followed him, and outside on the landing the two men came to blows (or at least started to push one another), and were only separated by the police.

Juan Ángel was accusing Rodrigo of attacking him “beyond and above” the call of politics, and started dredging up some dirty deeds that Rodrigo was allegedly involved in when the PSOE last ruled the town.

The men were thrown out of the townhall by the coppers, and the police reported back to Grima that peace has been restored. At that exact moment, a commotion in the street below drew their attention – the two councillors were at it again, and were being held back / encouraged by passing members of the public. So the coppers had to run back downstairs again and order the men to go home or face arrest.

The townhall meeting dissolved into a farce as the rest of the opposition councillors stormed out, Grima was left with even more egg on his ample face and the whole town – in fact, the whole province – is now agog at the sheer cheek of these councillors.

By the way, in the last year alone Grima has managed to drag the town a further million euros into debt – Turre is now on of Spains 100 most indebted towns.

Rodrigo has issued a grovelling apology on facebook for his behaviour (well, I say “grovelling” – unless you know the backstory you don’t really understand what’s going on). Morales has had all use of public assets revoked by Grima. His forthcoming lecture by a visiting lawyer on abusive mortgage clauses has been moved out of the public use building, for example, in a move by Grima that I call petty. And Grima is sulking in his office.

A rather petty refusal to allow IU to use the public meeting hall by the townhall.
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