Las Minas International Singing Festival (La Unión, Murcia), the most important flamenco festival in the world, has just experienced its biggest scandal since its opening in 1961. This is confirmed by members of the jury and eyewitnesses who managed to check how the mayor of the region, Pedro Lopez Milanbroke into the area reserved for the final jury to try to influence the outcome of one of the prizes that were to be awarded.
Bad manners and the deliberate intention of a socialist mayor to influence the vote did not achieve their goal, but they caused a political earthquake that called into question the good name of one of the most symbolic events dedicated to the genre classified as intangible. cultural heritage of mankind. Spanish dancer and choreographer royal white, the chairman of the jury for this latest edition, has already assured that after what happened, she will no longer perform this work. And other prominent members such as the archer Francis SeverusThey submitted their resignation.
Salvador Alcaraz, secretary of the jury and one of those whom López Milan reproached during the final discussion, commented to this newspaper on how events unfolded. According to him, the mayor, who also holds the position of the President of the Festival, burst into bad manners and shouting when he learned about the list of winners. “His intention was to intervene directly in the decision of one in particular dedicated to the best singer under 25 who reached the final,” he explained. His forcible intervention, however, did not affect the discussion, which, moreover, had already ended.
Extraordinary plenary session and blocking the resignation of the local executive body
After what happened, the People’s Party called an extraordinary plenary meeting to ask López Milan for an explanation and, in the end, demand his resignation, although this resolved the situation without too much trouble thanks to the absolute majority she still retains in the city council. However, his position was seriously compromised. A few days before, PSOE La Unión General Secretary Domingo Alaharin told local media that the versions offered by López Milan did not match the versions of the jury, and that the local PSOE did not have a clear position on this issue: “I neither believe nor do not believe,” he explained, “but I do not want to make a firm decision to ask him to resign “. A few hours after the plenary session the party’s local chief executive resigned en blocwhich was interpreted by many as a way to put pressure on the mayor to hasten his resignation.
Not in his favor is the vagueness of the explanations offered by Lopez Milan. At first, he claimed that his intervention was due to an excessive delay in the discussion, but Alcaraz denies this claim. “He didn’t tell us anything about it. And besides, it wouldn’t make any sense, because all the prizes were awarded unanimously. It was one of those years when we spent the least time thinking.” The mayor later clarified his explanation and limited himself to apologizing for his behavior.
People’s Party through its representative in the municipality Joaquin Zapatabelieves that Lopez Milan did not provide a reliable version. “We understand that you are lying”. For this reason, and also for the “irreparable damage done to the festival”, they are asking him to resign.