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La Línea PSOE mulls municipal election policy focused on Gibraltar

By Maria Jesus Corrales

As Spanish political parties in the Campo gear up for local elections in May, a month after a scheduled general election, the PSOE in La Línea has unveiled plans to develop an electoral policy calling for cooperation with the Government of Gibraltar on key issues.

In an interview with the Chronicle, PSOE general secretary in La Linea, Juan Chacón, said social and economic policies were being agreed ahead of inclusion in the manifesto for the municipal elections.

“We would like to include an agreement with our neighbours in Gibraltar, which will also include suggestions from them,” he said.

“This will be discussed in a meeting with the Gibraltar Government and hopefully it will continue to serve both sides of the frontier despite Brexit.”

The party is exploring proposals for policies urging cooperation on business, employment, tourism and the environment.

However, the main obstacle for this project is the internal struggle between the current executive and the local PSOE representatives in the council.

At the last council meeting held in La Línea, nine socialist councillors were absent. This has caused a rift between the local leadership and its representatives.

Last week week those nine councillors issued a statement calling for Juan Chacón’s “immediate resignation” following a meeting with the PSOE in Cádiz.

Diego Cabrera was elected as the spokesman for the La Línea group after Miguel Tornay handed in his resignation.

A few hours later, a statement was issued criticising the “ineptitude, bad tendencies and fiery tendencies of General Secretary of Juan Chacón” and what is left of the executive.

The statement read: “They are plunging our group into a chaotic and belligerent situation, further and further away from dialogue and agreement.”

Mr Chacón dismissed this statement and said: “It is not healthy to continue fanning this fire which will not be of benefit to anyone.”

A meeting was held with the Cadiz Diputación vice-president Juan Carlos Ruiz-Boiz and it ended with the agreement to appoint Diego Cabrera as the spokesperson, Mr Chacón said.

The general secretary said the PSOE federal committee has been informed of these absences and that “the ball is no longer in my court”.

The federal committee will now have to reach a decision on whether to take any disciplinary action on those councillors.