EXCLUSIVE by Kathryn Richardson
MANILVA Town Hall is calling for more expats to become official residents of Spain.
During the first of several meetings being held in Manilva to help the huge expat population, town hall officials urged people to register on the Padron (the official register of residents) if they were here for more than 183 days a year.
Addressing the packed meeting earlier this month, Mayoress Antonia Muñoz Vazquez said: “It’s an honour for us having you all live here but the more important thing is for you to get involved.
“To get the services we need to get people registered and if we get the numbers we should then be able to get the benefits.”
The message comes after the government recently changed the law, reducing services to towns with less than 20,000 residents.
This means that Manilva will only getting funding for its official residents, almost half of which are foreigners.
It is thought a large majority of the town’s foreign population are not officially registered.
Many expats are worried about registering because they are unsure of how it will affect their UK status, as well as the fact that applicants must prove their income, have their own health insurance and have at least €6,000 in their bank account.
However, Area Coordinator for Town Planning, Statistics and Foreign Residents, Valentina Radu, said expats needed to register so the Town Hall could get funding to cope with the amount of people living there.
“It drives us all mad. The foreign residents department is here for you but we cannot go with you to the police station where you get your NIE,” she said.
“Foreigners should no longer be a burden.”
Ms Radu also emphasised the benefits of being on the Padron, including the right to vote, and help from the welfare department.
British expats Jane and Alfred Dickens said expats should register.
“They are taking without giving. They don’t realise that they need to give too,” said Mr Dickens.
For more information call the Foreign Residents Department on 952 893 548 or email [email protected]