THE mayor of Velez-Malaga has condemned the Junta de Andalucia regional government for failing to provide a response to a request for financial aid to bring back the tram service.
Mayor Francisco Delgado Bonilla claims that all the technical documents requested by the regional government were deposited at the Autonomous Administration more than four weeks ago, but that the council has not yet received a response.
“There are no possible excuses,” said Mayor Bonilla. “We have not heard from them, by letter or any other way, about the possibility of negotiating a solution that they promised to us a long time ago.”
The Junta had committed to help pay 75 per cent – about €3 million – of the service’s deficit during a visit by former president Manuel Chaves in 2009, according to the mayor.
With a cost of €40 million, the tram service became operational in 2006, but was closed in 2012 due to its high running costs, and was leased out in July of 2013 to Sydney (Australia), where it was to stay for a period of two years.
However, the first of three cars made a surprise return to the town in November 2014, and the other two were brought back in December.
Bonilla stressed the will of the local government to bring back the service, but also emphasised that it would not be possible unless the Junta de Andalucia helped to pay the bills.