Foreign residents make up one third of sewage treatment plant protesters

Saturday's protest started at Nerja town hall and ended at the sewage treatment plant.
Saturday's protest started at Nerja town hall and ended at the sewage treatment plant. / E. CABEZAS
  • The demonstration was organised by the town hall to demand that work start again to complete the project

More than 700 people participated in last Saturday's protest through the streets of Nerja over the ongoing delays to the town's sewage treatment plant, according to local police sources.

Around one third of those who turned out were foreign residents, which represents the percentage of non-Spanish people living in the town. However, the Guardia Civil estimated that there were just 400 people involved in Saturday's demonstration.

The protest was organised by Nerja town hall's governing tripartite coalition, formed by the socialist PSOE, left wing Izquierda Unida and EVA-Podemos political parties. Mayor of Nerja, Rosa Arrabal, was joined by socialist politicians from Malaga and the Junta de Andalucía at the demonstration.

Vital for tourism

Nerja's Ciudadanos councillor, Mari Carmen López, along with Manuel Carrillo, the party's local coordinator, gave the message that the government needs to “listen to the people of Nerja who have turned out in huge numbers to demand an end to this fundamental project from the point of view of the environment and tourism.”

However, there was no representation from the opposition Partido Popular (PP), who claimed that the protest was “politically opportunistic and inappropriate”.

A spokesperson for the party added that Spain's central government had “shown its firm and decisive will to restart the work with a view to completing the project soon.”

Nerja is the only large town in Malaga province not to have its own sewage treatment plant and the project has remained at 76 per cent complete since July 2017, when the company overseeing the work, Isolux-Corsán-Corviam, was declared bankrupt.

Bearing banners with the slogan 'Depuadora Ya' (treatment plant now), the protesters convened outside Nerja town hall, before walking along Calle Carmen, Puerta del Mar, Pintada and Avenida de Pescia. The protest finished at the site of the unfinished plant, in the Fuente del Badén area of the town.