THE Almeria Popular Party has slammed past regional governments over the Almanzora highway.
Speaking at the conservative PP’s provincial headquarters last week, regional Parliament member Ramon Herrera, accompanied by fellow regional MP Rosalia Espinosa, accused the previous left-leaning PSOE-run Junta de Andalucia administrations of the “scandalous management” of the Almanzora dual-carriageway construction project, especially between 2010 and 2018.
They maintained there had been “systematic breaches” on planning time and commitments on budgets, contracts and policy”, also accusing past administrations of “a deficient and costly negotiation on the resolution and expiry of the last contracts formalised in this period.”
Herrera pointed out the highway was first promised in 1985 and in the Junta’s PISTA Plan for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure in Andalucia for 2007 to 2014 and 2014 to 2020, but said only 26 per cent was executed. Also, that from July 2015 until the change to the current PP-run Andalucia government “not even one kilometre was done.”
Referring to the original contract for the El Cucador to La Concepcion stretch of the road, Herrera stated that although it was agreed in 2010, the works did not get started due to the then administration’s “lack of will”.
The current PP Junta de Andalucia President Juanma officially inaugurated the start of the works on this part of the dual-carriageway earlier this month.
The El Cucador-La Concepcion contract was resolved with a €400,000 compensation payment to the contractor in October last year, “without having carried out one kilometre”, Herrera recalled, but said the real problem was the public-private collaboration contract for the construction, exploitation and maintenance of the Purchena to the A-7 section.
Agreed in March 2012, a resolution of €6.7 million was set in the event of it not going forward. As the works had still not been finalised by 2015, the resolution costs were increased, meaning, Herrera maintained, a more than €17.5 million expense for the regional government with nothing to show for it.
He demanded explanations from PSOE.