By Dave Jamieson
A CAMPAIGN for reduced entrance prices to the Caminito del Rey near Ardales has been rejected because of a European directive. Over 7,000 people had signed a petition at change.org demanding lower prices for residents of Málaga province before the news came through last Friday.
From April, management of the restored walkway which opened to the public last March will be handled by a private firm that will pay at least €75,000 a year for the concession. The top entrance price it will be permitted to charge has been set at €10 and it is this which has upset local people.
In a statement, José María del Río Belmonte, the head of the Environment Department at the provincial government, said that Spain is subject to a 2006 European directive on services in the internal market which expressly prohibits Member States from introducing any concessions in providing services on grounds of nationality and/or habitual residence of the service recipient.