The City Councils of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza, Valladolid, La Coruña and Terrassa have combined in a municipally-driven declaration criticising the limitations to local autonomy and funding posed by the state budget for 2017. Municipal representatives met parliamentary groups from the PSOE, Unidos Podemos, PDeCAT, ERC and Compromís parties to call on them to change laws such as the law on budgetary stability, the so-called ‘Ley Montoro’, which attacks the autonomy of municipal councils and their funding ability.
The First Deputy Mayor, Gerardo Pisarello, insisted that the budget being put through the Spanish parliament “is the umpteenth attack by the PP on municipalism and the ability of councils to guarantee quality public services for citizens”. The Deputy Mayor pointed out that municipal councils represent the administrative bodies which have acted “with the most solvency, responsibility and reliability in recent years”.
The grievances of the municipal representatives meeting in Madrid today focus on the significant cut in funding for municipal councils, with public spending figures matching those from the start of the transition to democracy (12%). Likewise, the criticism is levelled at the establishing of a public expenditure limit which forces the generation of disproportional spending surplus, and the impossibility of having a solid municipal workforce, given that places are limited and the municipalisation of outsourced services is being impeded. According to Pisarello, this represents “a threat to the efficiency of public services”.
Besides Pisarello, the municipal sphere was represented by the Deputy Mayor for Madrid City Council, Carlos Sánchez Mato, and the spokeswoman Rita Maestre; the Mayor of La Coruña, Xulio Ferreiro; the Mayor of Zaragoza, Pedro Santisteve; the Deputy Mayor of Valencia, Sergio Campillo, and the Mayor of Terrassa, Jordi Ballart. Valladolid City Council also adhered to the manifesto, although no representative attended.