It’s been over four months since Angel Vadillo began camping out in an old van in front of Spain’s Ministry Industry on April 10. For the last two of those months, he hasn’t eaten. His van is spare, decorated only with a picture of his one-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter. Aside from that, he only has a thin mattress, a full book shelf, a laptop and a mobile phone, both of which he charges with solar power.
Vadillo is the mayor of Alburquerque, a municipality with a population of 5,500 in Extremadura in the west of Spain. For the last two decades, Alburquerque has staked its future on solar energy, and five new facilities with a capacity of 250 megawatts had been planned prior to the subsidy cuts. Now, those plans have been shelved: “That means that we will lose some 850 jobs,” says Vadillo. It is estimated that the measure will cost a total of 10,000 jobs across the country.
Vadillo is hoping to force the minister to at least take a seat at the negotiating table. His mission began by walking the 600 kilometers (311 miles) from his constituency to Madrid. When the minister of industry refused to receive him, he decided to camp outside the building. When that too failed to get him the result he wanted, he stopped eating. That was on June 11.
By now, the mayor has become visibly emaciated. But he has lost none of his resolve. “I drink eight liters of honey water every day,” he says. “That keeps me sharp.” An ambulance stops by daily to check on his health. “It is becoming critical,” says one of the medical personnel, but Vadillo intends to keep going.
Q: How many Mayors in Ireland would follow in this mans steps ??
A: None !