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Expats urged to become official

PUBLISHED: February 26, 2013 at 10:02 am  •  LAST EDITED: March 22, 2013 at 7:51 am
Andalucia, Malaga  •  17 Comments

Expats urged to become official

• The panel: Beli Muñoz Vazquez, Diego Urieta Jimenez, Antonia Muñoz Vazquez, Valentina Radu and Javier Martin

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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]

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February 26th, 2013 1:19 pm

Taking what without giving? We now have to pay to get non emergency treatment here but the the Spanish don´t in the UK. Most expats have their own money to live on and ask/claim for nothing. We will soon have to tell them how much of our hard earned cash we have in the UK so that they can have a slice of it. What return would we get on €6,000 here in Spain after tax? Is it time to look elsewhere for the sun without all the red tape?


February 26th, 2013 2:09 pm

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.

Well I better pack my bags, my wife and I are pensioners but we use the Spanish health system free of charge except for our prescription contribution and don’t have 600 in the bank never mind 6000.

Dodgy Rodge

February 26th, 2013 2:46 pm

I’m a resident but move between the UK and Canada, I have my own money, private health insurance and don’t require any spanish services so I won’t be registering. No doubt the spanish will be after my hard earned money in taxes – why don’t they start with taxing their own? Plus I don’t see how foreigners in Spain are a burden since we’re not entitled to sweet F.A.


February 26th, 2013 2:53 pm

Maybe getting that padron would be more appealing if there would be some english speaking staff on health centers instead of spending that money to hire relatives of Mrs. Muñoz to city hall…

simon galley

February 26th, 2013 3:15 pm

yes…. register, so they have your name, home address, email address, and what other info they need to send you bills and citations for town hall fees, and what ever other fees they want, then when you dont pay, forget or are out of the country they embargo your bank account, and take what they want from it, then leave you with the fines for being overdrawn in the bank when there isnt enough cash there you left to cover the mortgage….


February 26th, 2013 7:49 pm

Yep- register. You live here, you have to play by the rules. And don’t say you don’t use any services here. So if you get mugged you are not going to call the police? Don’t you walk along the pavement that somebody built? Or if your house catches fire- you’ll let it burn rather than call the fire brigade? Come on! Why don’t you people realise that if you don’t pay other people like me have to pay more for you. You are effectively stealing my money.
Pay up or b*gger off!


February 26th, 2013 9:23 pm

I registered without hesitation.
Yes, they take my annual ‘rates’ from my bank account, but that is the only thing on a Direct Debit.
No – I don’t have 6,000 euros in the bank either, so I have no idea where that gem comes from.
Nor have I ever had to produce any form of evidence of health care insurance, or where my income comes from.

Pete Smith

February 27th, 2013 1:49 am

There seems to be some confusion in this article between ‘Padron’ and ‘Residencia’. To obtain our empadronamiento from our local Town Hall, all my partner and I had to do was provide proof of our address with a utility bill. We are both retired and have 3500 euros a month transferred from the UK into our spanish bank. No way could we EVER be considered to be a burden on the spanish economy.
We have had confusing information from two different gestorias on the subject of taxation. One tells us that we will have to pay tax on our UK pensions in Spain, the other says we will not, so for the time being we are avoiding applying for Residencia.

Paddy Ron

February 27th, 2013 10:08 am

See speakfreak above – we all impose costs on the local spanish economy, just as we do in the UK – police, fire service, hospitals and ambulance services, roads, street cleaning, lighting, garbage collection, etc etc. If people don’t register then someone else ends up paying more to cover for them. And when Dodgy and Fishy start finding out about old age care they’re not entitled to, and their heirs end up paying far more inheritance tax than they would otherwise, etc, etc, they’ll all be really glad they didn’t register…

M in Spain

February 27th, 2013 12:43 pm

We’ve registered and paid our dues. Our Town Hall have now served us with a notification of demolition (on a property for which they issued a building licence). Are the Town Halls going to add ‘demolition services’ to the ‘benefits’ they offer? and, how do I de-register once my house is demolished?


February 27th, 2013 3:47 pm

I’d say registering was the honorable thing to do, but seeing how Spain totally craps on expatriates and is almost totally dishonorable in its daily dealings with them (and its own people), I’d say lay low and sign nothing. In fact, don’t move here at all.


February 27th, 2013 5:08 pm

“They are taking without giving. They don’t realise that they need to give too,” said Mr Dickens.

What happens to the money that we pay the town halls every year that we call the Rates bill???

“Foreigners should no longer be a burden.”

Give us our money back if it does not help!!!


March 1st, 2013 9:14 am

We bought their overpriced houses nd apartments.which we now cannot sell……Put billions into the economy .and now they want to crap on us . Dont fall for another bloody Spanish con trick……., keep a low profile and off the corrupt system. REGISTER AT YOUR PERIL !!!!!!!


March 1st, 2013 10:36 am

Don’t register i would say. How will it help you? The negatives outweigh the positives. I am still laughing about amparo’s message regarding the UK ‘death row’ care homes. That was funny, it would probbay better better for all of us to be put out of our misery when we get to that state.


March 5th, 2013 9:13 am

Reading these comments is amazing, typical expats. It is not the Spanish town halls job to have people speaking English, its your job to learn Spanish. So many of you come here for the sun and nothing else, have no interest in anything Spanish, on your little urbs with English TV and believe that the UK is,not corrupt lol. I pay my taxes here, i can have conversations in Spanish and dont live on an urb, and im proud of that. Honestly, if you think its that bad here, leave, go back!!!!!!!


March 5th, 2013 11:08 am

@Lee, when a country has collapsed economically it needs to branch out and create initiatives that bring in revenue. Spain is a service-driven country, and southern regions like Andalucia only really have the climate and tourism to sell. Look how the UK caters for ethnic groups, providing signage and paperwork in many different languages. Spain needs to do the same *and* of course expats need to learn Spanish too. Any many have, Lee.

Anyhow, how can one be “proud” not to live in an urbanisation? Some of my best Spanish friends live on urbanisations. What happens if you live in Madrid or Barcelona then? Are there no urbanisations there?

Lee. Duh.


March 5th, 2013 1:17 pm

@ Lee. In their own words…..”This means that Manilva will only getting funding for its official residents, almost half of which are foreigners”. Hello!…..Is this a sign that perhaps they should help people that are unable to pick Spanish as easy as others can? As Fred said “Look how the UK caters for ethnic groups, providing signage and paperwork in many different languages”. The UK does this at the rate payers expense and half of Manilva are contributing in taxes. They can´t keep taking without giving!

I live in an apartment block with 11 Spanish families and have been President of the comunidad for the last 3 years. The fact that we are all reading this paper shows that we do have some interest as to what is going on around us.
There are many urbanisations in America and other places in the world where they all speak English, it´s where people want to live.

You did not mention if you were “proud” to be on the Padron by the way.

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