By Jason Moore

THE Mayor of Calvia, Margarita Najera, goes into Sunday's local elections confident that the people of the municipality will return her to power. Calvia is high on the Partido Popular's “election wishlist” of municipalities in Majorca but Najera says that her track record speaks for itself and she is confident that next week she will be sitting in the same office as she has done for the last 12 years. Speaking to the Bulletin this week she said that one of the highlights of the last four years was the advances that the council had made on the issue of education. “We now have a fantastic education model in our municipality which we have worked long and hard to achieve,” she said adding that the council had spent large sums of money to ensure that the children of the municipality received a first rate education from infants to teenagers of university age. Najera, a real powerhouse in the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), added that the council had also invested heavily in the tourist industry and as a result many of the resorts in the Calvia area are the envy of the rest of the island. She pointed to the new 16 kilometre promenade which now links many parts of the municipality. “This is an asset to residents and tourists alike. It means that the municipality is now closer linked and offers a great service.” The Calvia council has often been criticised for its high taxes, some of the highest in Majorca. But the Mayor said that eventhough council charges were high the people of Calvia realised that the money was being well spent. “Ninety percent of people in this municipality pay their taxes on time and this shows that they have a great sense of solidarity,” she said. Other councils across the island have great difficulty in collecting taxes with a sizeable percentage of people not paying their dues in the prescribed time. It appears in Calvia this is not a problem with rate-payers having a great sense of “citizenship.” Also, the council has often said that residents enjoy some exceptionally good services. Margarita Najera's council was criticised by the opposition for allegedly attempting to block the non-Spanish European Union vote in these elections. She said this allegation was completely false and said that it was all an election stunt by the opposition Partido Popular. “They are running a campaign of false claims and half truths. This claim of vote blocking was dreamed up by Kate Mentink (who is running for council for the Partido Popular). It is just another lie. In Calvia 20 percent of the population are Majorcans, 60 percent are from the mainland and the remaining 20 percent are from other countries within the European Union. We want everyone to vote. Our cosmopolitan mix of nationalities and people is almost like a blueprint for Europe itself. We are a European municipality and I would urge the whole population to get involved and feel part of what we are trying to create. We have tried successfully to help the non-Spanish Europeans get on the election roll so that they can vote. This is why this allegation is so laughable. I want everyone to vote.” Calvia has naturally not escaped the fall in tourism and the industry in the area is concerned. Najera said that they would be working hard to attract other nationalities of tourists to the munipality in an effort to break the stranglehold the British and Germans have had on the municipality for so long. “I think you could say that for the last few years we have rather rested on our laurels but now we are working hard to boost our industry. We have the necessary infrastucture in place and we must make sure that we try and attract alternative markets. Austria could be a key market and the feedback we are getting is that it could be very good.” Najera said that she was proud of what had been achieved by her council and said that she hoped to continue with the council's policy of ploughing back the money from taxes into the municipality. She said that she was sure that on Sunday the people of the municipality would come out and vote for her Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE). One of the crowning moments of her last four years in office, according to the Mayor, was winning a prize for sustainable tourism during the recent United Nations conference on the environment in South Africa. According to the United Nations, Calvia was an example of how to develop an industry but respect the environment at the same time. Najera was in South Africa to collect the prize. To be able to win awards of this calibre, according to Najera, has involved heavy investment in the municipality and this was the prime reason why taxes were high and also why the council had such a level of debt. On a final note she said. “Calvia has changed for the better and we are all working to make this municipality a better place.”