The Culture area run by Vox in the Orihuela City Council has left the Miguel Hernández International Poetry Prize, which the Orihuela poet’s Foundation organizes every year, without public subsidy. The municipal budgets that must be approved by the council governed by the Popular Party with the support of Vox do not include the nominative aid of 6,000 euros that, since 2000, has been granted to the institution and which, in this case, is intended to cover the bulk of the prize.

Every June 1st, the Board of Trustees announces this award in the Spanish language, endowed with 8,000 euros, which distinguishes the most outstanding work with an extension of between 500 and 1,000 verses, and the City Council makes this direct contribution as part of its commitment as a trustee, as does takes charge of the foundation’s headquarters, known as the Hernandian Studies Center.

However, after the entry of Vox into the Government, this aid has disappeared, according to the newspaper Información. The councilor who heads the Culture area, Gonzalo Montoya, did not initiate its processing nor present it for approval at the government meeting and, therefore, it is not included in the municipal accounts for 2024. The reason he gives is that this aid must be accompanied by a settlement of expenses supervised by the Municipal Intervention that were not presented. However, from the foundation, its president Aitor Larrabide, assures that all administrative procedures were completed in September even though the aid had not been called.

The opposition denounces Vox’s political intention with this measure. “It is not a mistake, it is completely intentional. It is one more example of Vox’s policy, which does not want to protect the figure and legacy of Miguel Hernández,” PSOE spokesperson Carolina Gracia assures EL MUNDO, pointing out to the responsibility of the mayor of the PP, Pepe Vergara. “If Culture does not collect this aid, which has been granted for years under governments of all political stripes, it would have to appear in the Mayor’s budgets or they will be complicit in this setback in the cultural policy imposed by their partners,” she warns.

The position of the Vox councilor contrasts with that defended by his party in the Generalitat, where Vice President Vicente Barrera holds the powers of Culture. In fact, in the budgets approved by the PP and Vox it continues to maintain the item that, since 2022, the Generalitat contributes to the Foundation in its capacity as patron: 65,000 euros that are added to the 12,000 contributed by the Alicante Provincial Council and that, Together with the 6,000 from the City Council and some private contributions, they cover the institution’s expenses of almost 100,000 euros.

The regional secretary of Culture, Paula Añó, and General Director of Culture, Sergio Arlandis, attended the board meeting on December 18 and expressed the support of the Valencian Government both for the management of director Aitor Larrabide and for the activities proposed by his team, as well as confirmed their commitment to continue collaborating closely in the dissemination of the universal Oriolano poet through their Foundation, something that the councilor of their party in Orihuela has not fulfilled.