THE Ministry of Defence will pay Viator Town Hall €60,000 a year for occupying municipal land.
The Legion has occupied the base, which covers an area of 351.8 hectares, for 50 years but no attempt was made until now to fill a legal void, said Viator mayor, Maria del Mar Lopez.
A study of files and archives at the town hall failed to uncover paperwork granting municipally-owned land for the base’s firing range and manoeuvres, Lopez revealed.
Although the defence ministry had made every effort to cooperate, the negotiations leading up to the 75-year agreement lasted three years, the mayor said.
The agreement signed recently with junior defense minister, Pedro Arguelles Salaverria, in Madrid has also cleared the way for a second deal.
It has been agreed that the El Chapao area in the northern section of the land used for field exercises can be used for hunting. A second pact will be signed in coming weeks, specifying conditions and timetables, Lopez said.