Visitelche president’s salary sparks criticism

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EOI Escuela de Organización Industrial on Flickr
Mercedes Alonso

ELCHE’S first female mayor, Mercedes Alonso, stated during her inauguration back in 2011 that austerity would be the keyword for her tenure. After municipal accounts have been released it seems that austerity did not prevent her appointing Matias Perez as manager of Visitelche, an independent body that has advised Elche on tourism and resort marketing for the last four years.
The salary that Mercedes Alonso awarded Matias Perez, at €60,000 per annum, was more than the head of Tourism of the Generalitat Valenciana, regional government, would earn over the same period. Despite a denunciation regarding the amount, which was divided into 14 equal salary payments, Matias remained in his position.
It has also been revealed that the contract he worked under did not specify working hours or length of the working week.
In addition, it has been disclosed that Mercedes Alonso was also President of Visitelche, allegedly presenting a conflict of interest.
After a meeting held by the newly installed coalition, the municipality firmly voted to remove Matias Perez and Visitelche from any further contracts.
Perez stated that his salary was public knowledge. Mercedes Alonso was unavailable for comment on the issue but although she has lost her municipal office she remains President of Visitelche.

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