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Marbella’s PP Believed it Impossible to Free AP-7 Toll Just Months Ago – The Unbelievable Turn

Marbella's PP thought freeing AP-7 toll was impossible until an unbelievable turn of events.
March 1, 2024
Free AP-7 Toll
Free AP-7 Toll

PP Launches Campaign for Coastal Train and Free AP-7 Toll

Last Saturday, Elías Bendodo, Patricia Navarro, and Ángeles Muñoz were seen campaigning on the highway. The Popular Party (PP) has initiated a campaign demanding the Pedro Sánchez government to implement the coastal train, an infrastructure that the Rajoy government failed to establish despite their constant “commitments”. They are also calling for the removal of the AP-7 toll, which they deemed impossible a few months ago as it would require a “multimillion-dollar” bailout for the concessionaire.

PP’s Inconsistency in Demands

The campaign launched by the Popular Party in the Western Costa del Sol, despite its fair demands, is riddled with their own inconsistencies. They are demanding a project like the coastal train, which they failed to implement during Rajoy’s seven-year tenure in the government. Regarding the removal of the AP-7 toll, it’s more of the same, as Rajoy never allowed it, even though it was only requested in case of highway congestion. Even the PP of Marbella considered it impossible just four months ago, in October 2023, because it would mean a “multimillion-dollar” bailout.

PP’s Past Failures and Inconsistencies

A look into the archives reveals multiple examples of PP’s inconsistencies on this issue. The fact that the Rajoy government did not implement the coastal train is obvious. In March 2015, more than three years after they came to power in Spain, Ángeles Muñoz celebrated with Minister Ana Pastor that they were going to launch the project. It was a commitment that, according to her, had been made since “the arrival of the PP to the central government” when she conveyed “the need for a railway connection with Marbella”. Muñoz highlighted that it was “the first time” that an administration was genuinely committed to bringing the train to Marbella.

PP’s Unfulfilled Commitments

After the announcement in 2015, it took almost another three years for the then Minister Ínigo de la Serna to present a project with two options in Marbella on January 27, 2018. Therefore, after six years of Rajoy’s government, the first plans arrived, with a minimum necessary investment of between 1,000 and 2,000 million euros, depending on the route. Nothing was done during that time, beyond the “commitments”, yet now the PP is demanding from the Pedro Sánchez government.

PP’s Stance on AP-7 Toll

Regarding the removal of the AP-7 toll, which the PP is now also requesting, it should be remembered that they never promoted it during Rajoy’s time. It was requested as a temporary solution in situations of highway congestion due to accidents, but they never agreed to it. In July 2017, in a parliamentary response, the PP government stated that “currently the Ministry of Development does not plan to implement the toll-free measure when collapses occur on the AP-7 in the Fuengirola-Riviera del Sol-Marbella section”. The refusals were constant despite even the businessmen requesting measures against the highway jams.

PP’s Current Demands

Despite not doing it in specific cases back then, the PP is now asking for the toll to be removed until the coastal train is built, that is, indefinitely. Moreover, just four months ago, in the plenary session held on October 27, 2023, the deputy mayor of San Pedro, Javier García, stated that it was impossible to open the highway. The reason he gave was quite logical: “we know that this will not happen because the bailout would be multimillion-dollar”. The AP-7 is a concession that was made during the Aznar era. It opened in 1996 and extends until 2046. It is in the hands of a French investment fund.

Free AP-7 Toll
Free AP-7 Toll

PP’s Campaign in Costa del Sol

The PP has embarked on a campaign on the Costa del Sol to demand the coastal train and the removal of the AP-7 toll. On the latter, they themselves thought in Marbella just four months ago that it was impossible because it would mean a “multimillion-dollar” bailout.

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