José Jiménez, socialist mayor of the Andalusian municipality of Higuera de Calatrava, is willing to give half of his political earnings to a social fund directed at families struggling because of the crisis.
Jiménez, who received a modest €1,000 from his role as mayor, told digital newspaper Publico that he was perfectly capable of balancing his political duties with his job as a farmer.
“I come from a humble family and I’m going to help the people who need it,” Jiménez told Público.
“What I won’t tolerate is others trying to give me lessons in solidarity.”
Higuera de Calatrava’s mayor was referring to the local right-wing Popular Party’s motion to introduce a social fund for the people of Jaen province.
“They didn’t think for one second we’d go with it,” Jiménez added while pointing out that Jaen city’s mayor was getting double wages for his role as town hall leader and parliamentarian.
Jiménez, who now earns three times less than his predecessor, understands why the 670 inhabitants of Higuera de Calatrava need this financial backing.
“Ninety-five percent of our local economy is dependent on agriculture, so we are very dependent on the climate to determine whether we’ll have a good yield or agricultural and financial drought.”
The elderly mayor also holds gender equality meetings and helps jobseekers to promote their skills on social networks.
“We’re a small village, but we’re not dead,” the socialist mayor told Público.
“Everybody in Higuera de Calatrava has a social conscience."