Rafael García Guerrero is the socialist mayor of Noia in the A Coruña province of Galicia. The caretaker of the local music school resigned, so Guerrero is giving up his evenings to do the man's job, with no pay.
Due to the latest government rules and austerity measures, Guerrero is unable to replace the caretaker at the music school.
The previous incumbent resigned at the end of the 2011-2012 school year, and Guerrero felt he had to do something about the problem.
"The situation came about because we are forbidden from hiring anyone else," the mayor of Noia explained to the media.
The ban on replacing staff is part of the recent austerity cuts which have seen budgets of local authorities across Spain slashed.
"Now, whenever a municipal worker resigns, or someone goes on leave, we have to fill the post any way we can," said Guerrero. "The thing is, we have the money. We just can't spend it." he added.This in a country with a 25 percent unemployment rate.
And so, to give the children's parents some peace of mind, he spends a few hours at the school daily.
"I spend three hours a day at the school," Guerrero told The Local on Thursday, explaining that he works from 5pm to 8pm each evening.
"My main role is just to be there and supervise the children between classes," he added. "I don't mind doing it," he said. "The kids play their instruments well and it's quite pleasant."
But the PSOE mayor did add that the situation in Noia shows that "the current system isn't working."
He did tell ABC.es that he will have a short vacation soon. "Now I have a vacation because the school year ends."
"But it's all a bit contradictory," lamented the mayor, reiterating the fact that his local government could easily afford the caretaker, if only he was allowed to employ one.
Noia is a historic, coastal town, located around 40 kilometers from the city of Santiago de Compostela.
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