JOAQUÍN ALBALDEJO, DELEGATE FOR ALICANTE
JOAQUÍN ALBALDEJO, Torrevieja’s Deputy Mayor and Chief Financial Officer has taken up his post in Alicante’s provincial government. A lawyer by trade, Joaquin Albaldejo will be doing his utmost to ensure that Torrevieja receives everything due to Alicante’s third largest city, including grants and incentives. He speaks very good English and along with Mayor Eduardo Dolon, is looking towards building up stronger ties with the international community and introducing new initiatives, with one of the first projects on his agenda, the proposed International Social Centre.
Albaldejo has also spoken about his feelings towards Premier Zapatero and the situation in which Torrevieja’s Partido Popular feel they have often been disrespected by the PSOE Coalition government. He points out that Torrevieja is the only city in Spain with more than 100,000 on the padron without a National Police Station, that Europe’s largest Distillation plant is still unfinished after seven years and awaiting an electrical sub-station and piping to the Mediterranean, that the PSOE do not recognise Torrevieja as a tourist destination and the PSOE has decided that the official population is only around 38,000, thus depriving the city of an annual budget of around 35-million euros! The reasoning behind the PSOE thinking that Torrevieja has such a low population count, is the fact that the majority of International residents are not recognised as being ‘real’ residents! However, with the Parido Popular having a strong grip on the vast majority of the Valencian Community and pushing for a return to national government at the next general election, things are looking up for the city and Mayor Eduardo Dolon and Albaldejo have a futuristic and ambitious action plan for increasing growth and prosperity in the city over the next four years.
While Zapatero might think of Torrevieja as having only 38,000 residents, in reality the sitting population is almost ten times that, with the lowest counts in November and February being 320,000 but averaging close to 400,000 year round! Albaldejo speaks of Torrevieja’s plans to introduce a new Citizen’s Smart Card, which will hold information about an individual’s Padron status and will act as a quick way to use the free local bus service, library and other social services. The new smart card is also seen as a way for Torrevieja to discover its ‘real’ population numbers, as those seeking to benefit from living here will certainly want to have a new card.
As Albaldejo says, the more citizens that register on the pardon the more finances are provided by the government for such important aspects as hospitals, health clinics, doctors, nurses, ambulances, nation and local police, infrastructure, education, culture, social services, civil servants plus the less thought of items such as buses, taxis, lottery and tobacco shops and other amenities.
Along with Joaquin Albaldejo, former mayor of Orihuela Monica Lorente also has a seat on the council but with her now sitting in opposition and the entire infrastructure of the Orihuela Town Hall still in chaos, while Orihuela loses credibility and respect, Torrevieja seems to be marching ever upward. Torrevieja’s statistics office has also reported an abnormal rise of those from Orihuela Costa switching their pardon status to Torrevieja within days after the May 22 election results! Read into that what you will. Meanwhile Joaquin Albaldejo is set to ensure that Torrevieja receives the respect it deserves as one of the Valencian Communities most modern and forward-thinking municipalities.
© Keith Nicol 2011 Please contact him for further information.