(Agencies) The Mayor of Ronda, Antonio Marín, announced on Thursday that the town’s May Fair, which dates back to 1487, has been cancelled this year. Instead, the €300,000 the Council would have spent, will pay the wages of 106 people who will be taken on for three months, in May, June and July.
Marín stressed that, according to municipal estimates, there are currently 200 local families who are in extreme financial difficulties.>
The jobs will be for gardeners, painters, building labourers and cleaners, among others, and work for both men and women will be offered. The workers will be taken on by the municipal firm Soliarsa. Candidates can apply from April 15th and each case will be studied individually.
The PP opposition spokesperson, María Paz Fernández, pointed out that the “benefits of the May Fair are incalculable”. “This measure shows the incompetence of the Mayor; we are indignant”, she said. She also criticised the Mayor and his team for not planning for emergency measures to boost employment in their 2009 budget and so “now they have to rectify”.
Meanwhile the local Izquierda Unida representative, Rafael Ruiz, said that he was in agreement with the decision but complained that it was made without consulting the opposition groups.
Sporting its Royal Charter and called La Real Feria de Mayo,, the event is the oldest livestock fair in Andalucía, dating back to 1487, when the city was granted the privilege of holding a May fair by the Catholic King and Queen, Ferdinand and Isabella.