Antonio M. Romero
Friday, 9 February 2024, 14:16
The Partido Popular leader in Malaga province, Patricia Navarro, has demanded that the government suspend the AP-7 motorway toll charges on the Costa del Sol until the C1 Cercanias (commuter) train line from Malaga is extended to Marbella and Estepona. On Thursday evening, in a TV interview co-produced by SUR, Navarro slammed Spain's secretary of state for transport, José Antonio Santano, for saying he does not have the necessary information to implement the line “in the short term”.
“Malaga is being ignored,” Navarro said, adding that Santano would not dare to say the same thing about Barcelona, Madrid or Bilbao. The head of the Partido Popular in Malaga also said, in the premiere of the new season of La Alameda – the programme co-produced by 101TV and SUR and presented by SUR editor-in-chief Manolo Castillo – that the PSOE politician should have “resigned” the day after his recent statements.
The PP has proposed the suspension of the Costa del Sol motorway toll as it “does not make sense” while there is no railway line. Navarro said that the Costa del Sol “needs to remove that toll to ease traffic, not jam the A-7 motorway, improve road safety and help people get to work faster”.
Her proposal will be taken by Partido Popular MPs to Congreso in Madrid and will be presented by PP mayors in local council meetings.
The leader said she hoped that the extension of the railway from Fuengirola to the west coast will be included in the next national budget and advocated not only that it reach Marbella and Estepona to meet the growing demand due to the increased population in this area, but that it “cover the entire Andalusian Mediterranean coast from Almeria to Algeciras”.
Navarro also dealt with the urgent drought issue and warned that it was essential not to cause “unnecessary alarm” about the effects of the lack of water on tourism. She said, after meeting with representatives from the tourism bodies to discuss the varying scenarios depending on whether it rains enough. “If it rains there will be no [water] cuts or pressure drops, and if it does not rain there will be cuts. We know that it is annoying … to change operations, but business activity can be maintained,” she said
In the interview Navarro stressed that measures are being taken to guarantee supply where “works have been resumed that were planned 20 years ago”, in addition to the desalination plants in Marbella and El Trapiche, or the possible shipping in of water.
Patricia Navarro also made a strident call for “another culture” in our relationship with water which, in her opinion, must be across the board as “the water belongs to no one”. Speaking of the many issues that affect the supply for the public and businesses, the PP leader said that the reuse of water from sewage treatment plants was key as well as dealing with the leaks in the network which is currently losing 30-40% in Malaga province, according to her data.
Asked whether there was a 'Plan B' to replace the Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, if anything unexpected happened to him during his current mandate, Navarro said that the leader, who is 81 years old, still has plenty of energy, adding, “he is as fit as a fiddle and has a great team”.
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