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Despite the news last week that 49,694 homes were repossessed from defaulting borrowers in 2013, a 10% rise from a year earlier, whilst many of the so called “social housing” units still stand empty and barren, and this week´s news that 1,275,700 Spanish job seekers has not worked in the last three years, a figure which equates to 1 in 5 of the six million total unemployed, the people of the Alicante province will at least have something to look forward to with the announcement of a 600,000 budget to spend on fiestas.

The Diputación de Alicante has set aside 607,557 euro in aid for trade fairs and commercial events, of which 132 municipalities in the province, nine more than last year will benefit. Overall, the budget has increased by 25% above last year´s party contribution.

The deputy responsible for public works and development, Alejandro Morant, has explained that this year the Dipucatión has been removed the population limit in order to qualify and apply for aid, as last year it was only municipalities with fewer than 35,000 inhabitants who could apply. He stressed that “the great interest in this competition between the municipalities of the province and its contribution to the revitalization of the local business sector promoting the cultural, artistic and gastronomic 1landscape of the municipalities”.

The grants are designed to assist municipalities in addressing issues such as the cost of renting “stands” or “marquees”, as well as providing technical assistance, publicity and promotion of the show, renting lighting or sound.

The 25% increase may well be seen as favourable initially, but with municipalities of larger sizes now able to apply, the total budget will have to spread further, which could well now see the smaller municipalities suffer as the money is diverted towards the bigger areas.

However, the maximum eligible amount is 5,000 euro and is determined by the population of the municipality, and smaller municipalities are able to cover the entire costs of their fiesta using the grant, the larger municipalities are likely to only be allowed to use it as a token contribution.

The Vega Baja is set to benefit from a 111,515 share of the total, which can be divided between the 27 towns of towns of Albatera, Algorfa, Almoradí, Benejúzar, Benferri, Benijófar, Bigastro, Callosa de Segura, Catral, Cox, Daya Nueva, Daya Vieja, Dolores, Formentera del Segura, Granja de Rocamora, Guardamar del Segura, Jacarilla, Los Montesinos, Orihuela, Pilar de la Horadada, Rafal, Redován, Rojales, San Isidro, San Miguel de Salinas, San Fulgencio and Torrevieja.

In addition, the Provincial Council will subsidize 15,000 to trade fairs and other events in Crevillent, Elche and Santa Pola.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/43762/

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