by Staff Reporter

MAYOR Aina Calvo presented the city's budget for 2008 which, at 441.3 million euros, is 5.46 per cent higher than this year.
Calvo, who was accompanied by Andreu Alcover, the councillor in charge of the finance department, described that budgets as “transparent and responsible” despite the “difficult situation” inherited from the previous council.

Calvo said that this was her socialist council's first budget, and they had found themselves at a starting point which was “not easy.” She went on to explain that her council had found a large number of expropriations carried out by the previous council headed by Catalina Cirer of the Partido Popular (PP), which had not been paid, and these had to be tackled in the 2008 budgets.

She also pointed out that the cycle track, which was completed in 2005, was being paid for now and they had found an “unexpected” increase of 900'000 euros to be paid to one of the companies which runs the 010 information service “which was not accounted for in the 2007 budget and will have to be paid next year as will work on the seafront which was contracted last year but not paid.

Calvo said that the budgets had been designed to “improve the quality of life in the suburbs, making them “cleaner, safer and more accessible.” She also spoke of projects such as creating a green belt in Torrent Gros, which will cost half a million euros, refurbishing the Baluard des Princep (1.02 million euros) and improvements to the Pere Garau area (600'000 euros).

Staff costs will take up 26 per cent of the budget (114.8 million euros), cleaning and the environment 11.7 per cent (51.9 million) and mobility 7.7 per cent (34.2 million euros).

Mobility plans include freezing bus fares, raising the age for free travel to 14, buying new buses and building new bike only lanes.


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