Junta's regional budget promises 153 million euros of new investment in Malaga province

Navarro on Monday.
Navarro on Monday. / SUR
  • The 2019 plan still needs the regional parliament's approval, including the votes of Vox who say the plan isn't radical enough

The Partido Popular and Ciudadanos coalition government at the Junta de Andalucía last Friday gave details at last of its 2019 budget, which needs to be ratified by the regional parliament in Seville.

On Monday, the head of the Junta for Malaga, Patricia Navarro, explained how those spending plans would affect Malaga province, including the Costa del Sol, where a planned 153 million euros of new investment is expected.

However, approval of what will be the first annual budget ever in the autonomous region that hasn't been prepared by the Socialist PSOE party, needs the support of regional MPs from hard-right Vox. On Monday their spokesperson said that the spending plan was just the same as the PSOE's and he threatened to block approval if there weren't more radical initiatives in it.

The total annual budget at a regional level is 36.5 billion euros, five per cent more than under the last administration. Almost half, 17.2 billion, goes on the usual big-spending departments of education and health, services which the Junta de Andalucía controls.

In Monday's presentation of what the new budget would mean for Malaga and the Costa del Sol, Patricia Navarro explained that most of the new investment, over 100 million of the 153 million, would be on Malaga's metro lines.

Among other new schemes is initial work in linking the larger La Viñuela reservoir in the east of the province with the smaller La Concepción reservoir near Marbella. But there is no separate budget line for a new Malaga hospital nor for expanding the PTA technology park, although there is a small amount for improving the notoriously congested road access to that park.

Studies will be carried out on small improvements to the main road from Malaga to Ronda, where locals have been campaigning for a motorway instead.

The money to open Estepona's new local hospital and finish the San Pedro health centre is also mentioned.

Navarro's speech was a return to presenting the budget on a provincial level and she said it aimed to "get out of the drawer the forgotten projects of previous Socialist [regional] governments".

At a regional level , the PSOE has criticised the spending plans, saying they weren't rigourous enough and opened the door to privatisation.

The regional parliament's debate on the budget is due to be held in Seville next Wednesday.