The talk in Málaga

With the European elections looming, followed not long after by the municipal votes, attention naturally turns to the rights of citizens, especially those who reside in a country other than their native land.

There has been a lot of speculation and inaccurate information about the rights of voters in Spain, as well as the need for residencia, or registration on the padrón.

To try to resolve some of the issues relating from confusion caused, sometimes intentionally by those trying to “muddy the waters” but often by the sheer perceived complexity of the administration of Spain, official bodies in spain have been trying to do what they can to provide the accurate information.

The British Consulate and charity groups have been warning for some time that British citizens who are resident in spain must register on the Padrón at their local town halls in order to qualify for a variety of benefits, including getting help from social services, for example.

Other difficulties facing British Nationals include those who have received hospital treatment and are ready to be discharged but have no one to look after them, people who desperately need residential care but are ineligible as they failed to register on the Padrón, and others who failed to register for their social security cards and thus lack entitlement to any healthcare.

The Consulate explains that “When you decide to live abroad you are also choosing to rely on the services of the country you live in. If you fail to register your name, you are putting yourself at huge risk of being unable to get future help when you most need it”.

Anette Skou of the Foreigners Department in Mijas says, “In most cases where social services are powerless to help it is because the British nationals involved have not registered on the Padrón. We urge all British residents in spain to REGISTER ON THE PADRÓN – YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE”.

In order to try to clear up some of the confusion locally, the foreigner´s department of the province of Alicante has been collaborating with local town halls to provide informative workshops for ex-pat residents. Last week, one such event was held in Torrevieja, with people from all nationalities attending the event, this week, it is the turn of Orihuela.

On Thursday, the 14th of November, at 10:30, the Civic Centre Alameda del Mar on the orihuela costa will play host to an informative chat by distinguished professor of the Faculty of Law of the University of Alicante, an expert on EU law Rafael Agulló, which will feature simultaneous translation into English, as it is the mother tongue of most Europeans living in orihuela costa and it is also a widely known language.

The talk is free, although space is limited to the capacity of the venue, so early attendance is recommended, and will cover aspects of the legal requirements, the paperwork to follow, in order to guarantee that foreigners maintain their voting rights, and do not find out on Election Day that they cannot exercise this right. An information leaflet will also be available in Castellano, English, German, French and Dutch.

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