Mayor Bascuñana (left) is accused of spying on the private conversations of PP President Aparicio (right)

“The major problem with the Orihuela government,” said PSOE spokesperson Carolina Gracia in a statement, “is the mayor of the municipality, Emilio Bascuñana. “Events of recent days have now confirmed that he just cannot be trusted.”

Carolina was speaking to the press on Friday morning when she urged the recently elected President of the PP to take his complaint about Bascuñana to the Police. She said “this can no longer be just an internal PP complaint. It must now go before the courts, because a crime is alleged to have been committed.”

Gracia was referring to the allegation that the mayor has been spying on his PP rival. She expressed the “rejection and indignation of the PSOE,” that the mayor has had unauthorised access to the WhatsApp conversations of Aparicio.

As she demanded his immediate resignation Gracia said that the actions of the mayor are an absolute scandal and he should not be allowed to serve in such a prestigious appointment for another minute, especially as, despite repeated requests to do so, he continues to refuse to answer Aparicio’s allegations.

She said “It is embarrassing that the mayor is accused of spying on private conversations in order to maintain his status and remain in office.”  These events that are alleged to have taken place in recent months have “generated a great deal of insecurity for all the opposition councillors. If he has been able to listen in on the conversations of his own party members, how far will he be prepared to go with members of the opposition?”

“This issue simply cannot be accepted by opposition groups, residents or even the members of his own PP. As a matter of some urgency Bascuñana must be made either to answer the allegations by his party President or resign.”

Aparicio made the matter public some days ago, alleging that the mayor was privy to information that he could only have obtained by hacking into his private telephone conversations and messages. He suggests that it could have happened on as many as five separate occasions. Despite being asked to do so by the local Spanish media the mayor has failed to respond.

Unless Aparicio takes the matter to the police it is unlikely that the mayor will be called to account for his actions for some little while as the recently PP executive have still to set up a disciplinary committee within their organisation, and with the onset of the summer holidays they are unlikely to do so before September at the very earliest.