Eighteen municipalities of Vega Baja accumulate debts of 54.8 million euros

Of the 27 municipalities that make up the Vega Baja, 18 have accumulated a debt of 54.8 million euros, according to data published by the Ministry of Finance for the year 2021.

Eleven of them owe more than a million, with Bigastro topping the list with 15.6 million.

Next come Orihuela (7.4), Pilar de la Horadada (6), Callosa de Segura (5.8), Torrevieja (5), Daya Vieja (2.7), Dolores and Guardamar del Segura (2.4), Cox (1.6) and Redován and Benijófar (1.3).

Catral and Daya Nueva are close to a million euros while further down the table are Almoradí (764,619 euros), Granja de Rocamora (373,953), Benferri (152,219), Rojales (50,000) and Rafal (47,000 ).

Nine municipalities ended the year without debt, despite the additional constraints imposed on their budgets by the pandemic: Algorfa, Albatera, San Miguel de Salinas, Formentera del Segura, San Isidro, Jacarilla, San Fulgencio, Benejúzar and Los Montesinos.

In terms of municipalities indebted by their population, Daya Vieja tops the ranking with each of its 707 inhabitants, at the end of 2021, liable for 3,827 euros. In second place is Bigastro, with 2,230 euros of debt for each of its 6,994 inhabitants, followed by Daya Nueva (521), Benijófar (390), Dolores (313), Callosa (300), Pilar de la Horadada (266 ), Cox (213), Redován (164), Guardamar (151), Granja de Rocamora (143), Catral (108), Orihuela (94), Benferri (78), Torrevieja (60), Almoradí (36), Rafal (10) and Rojales (3).

Since being declared bankrupt in 2008, Bigastro continues to be one of the most indebted towns in Spain relative to its population. In 2011, the city council was almost taken over by the Valencian Community facing a debt of more than 31 million euros (5,000 euros per person), which was revealed following the replacement of the PSOE council by the PP in coalition with the liberal and centrist L’Union Populaire People’s Party, which had to make immediate cuts, including the Christmas lights that year, due to the difficult financial situation.

Bigastro continues to be one of the most indebted towns in Spain in relation to its population

Overall, however, the general trend is downward, following the implementation of the law of budgetary and financial stability after the financial crisis of 2012. However, the arrival of the pandemic has relaxed the spending ceiling a little fixed.

Only six localities have increased their debt compared to 2020. Granja de Rocamora has an increase of 282,870 euros, which translates into 108 euros more debt per person. Next comes Redován, with 151,218 (16 euros more per inhabitant); Rojales, 43,166 (3); Daya Nueva, 21,137 (5); Bigastro, 19,434 (reduced its debt by 25 euros per capita), and Daya Vieja is lower by 9,465, but 139 euros more per capita, the largest increase of all.

On the other hand, those that have fallen the most are Torrevieja (5 million euros less than the previous year), Orihuela (3.4 million), Pilar de la Horadada (3 million), Guardamar (674,656 euros), Albatera (474,006), Dolores (348,202), San Fulgencio (345,461), Callosa (310,551), Benijófar (284,155), Almoradí (276,312), Cox (226,020) and Benferri (101,479) , while in the other nine municipalities the reduction is less significant.

Pilar de la Horadada is the one that has managed to reduce its debt per capita the most compared to 2020, it now owes 141 euros less per capita.

The total debt of the 8,131 Spanish municipalities amounts to 17,324 million euros. The province of Alicante has a total debt of 217 million euros while in the whole of the Valencian Community it is 1,218 million, ranked third behind Madrid and Catalonia.