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Last night in Coín’s Casa de Cultura a lively meeting was held exploring alternatives to help regenerate the town’s economy. Viva Coin, who organised the meeting, invited 3 key speakers to offer their insights into possible solutions, including Jose Martin of Coin in Transition, Guillhermo Alvarez of Ciudano por Coin and Andres Pacheco of the Young business people’s association. Jose Martin put forward an arguement following the principles of the global transition movement that we need to develop more local resilience by focusing on our local resources and exploiting them in a sustainable and practical way. With the local farmers’ market about to launch on Sunday 22 April, this provided a meaningful focus for the points he was making – illustrating how it would provide a platform for local producers to sell direct to the consumers, keeping all the profits and benefits from the market in the town. Guillhermo Alvarez focused more on the role of the council and how the municipal budget needed to be balance by making savings on one hand and improving income on the other. He offered some clear suggestions including reducing council spending on itself, while increasing revenue by exploiting coin’s natural resources. Andres Pacheco’s presentation looked at the role of business in the town and he pointed out that one of the main problems has been the council using suppliers as interest free loans by not paying them on time, if at all – up to 15,000,000€ of outstanding debt is owed to local businesses as the council turned to them to provide services when municipal funds ran out. Sr. Pacheco argued that making it easier to start a business and cheaper to maintain one was crucial to see the economy begin to recover.
A lively round of comments and questions from the audience followed with many people applauding the intitiative of Coin in Transition to launch the farmers’ market, and others making interesting comments on the speakers’ main points.
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