Dramatic municipal deficit for Costa mainstay

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Benalmadena pueblo.

BENALMADENA makes an unexpected appearance in the top three of a list of municipalities in Malaga Province with the most debt per capita.

While the other two worst offenders, Alozaina and Guaro, are small towns tucked away in the Guadalhorce Valley, it is more surprising that one of the Costa del Sol’s best-loved expat destinations also features in the dubious triumvirate.

The data, published by the national Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, shows that just 22 of 103 municipalities within the province owe nothing to banks, whereas 13 are loaded with arrears amounting to more than €1,000 per resident.

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Alozaina is most wanting, with its overall debt of €5.28 million corresponding to €2,538 for each of the town’s 2,082 residents, whereas Guaro is in second place with €1,922 due for each of its 2,060 inhabitants for a total of €3.96 million.

Benalmadena, in contrast, has 66,598 official denizens with a staggering overall deficit of €115.58 million, some €1735 per capita.

Mayor Victor Navas blamed “decades of poor planning for revenue and expenditure,” citing the town hospital, constructed between 2004 and 2007 at a cost of €20 million, as an example.

“It could have been done differently,“ he said.

Another case mentioned was the car park at Balmoral, which cost €4 million to build but is now on sale for €1 million.

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