17 Apr, 2023 @ 14:15
1 min read

EXCLUSIVE: Dizzy spell ends British man’s hunger strike over residency rejection in Spain’s Valencia

Ill Health Forces End Of Brit's Hunger Strike Over Residency Rejection In Spain's Valencia
Dizzy spell ends British man's hunger strike over residency refusal in Spain's Valencia

A DIZZY spell on a staircase has forced a British man to end his hunger strike in protest over being refused Spanish residency after not submitting all of the correct papers.

Mark Saxby, 55, started his extreme action in the Safor district of Valencia province on April 3, and shed eight kilos within 11 days from his starting point of 80 kilos.

As previously reported by the Olive Press, Mark was upset that Spanish authorities sent back his residency application submitted prior to ‘Brexit Day’ of January 1, 2021, because he had no proof of private medical insurance.

The hunger strike was a last throw of the dice but not surprisingly health issues started to kick in.

Speaking to the Olive Press, Mark said: “I’m planning to travel to the UK from Alicante airport and on days 10 and 11 of the hunger strike, I realised that I was running out of energy to fly.”

“On day 12, I nearly fainted down my stairs and I took that as a sign that I should stop, as it seemed to me that with the authorities seemingly uninterested, I might need to make myself seriously unwell to get an official response, and making myself ill was not the ultimate goal!”

Mark Saxby Final Weigh In

Mark added that he returned to eating, little by little, and is hoping to encounter no problems-health or paperwise- when he flies out of Spain on a UK-bound flight.

As non-resident non-EU passport holders travel in and out of Spain on the basis of the ’90 days stay within 180 days’ rule, all he needs to do is to show a valid passport and flight ticket.

His residency battle revolved around delays caused by the Covid pandemic which cut down any time to rectify the health insurance omission.

Mark took the matter to the National Ombudsman and the European Commission, arguing that under the UK Withdrawal Agreement with the EU, there was the promise of a three-month ‘grace’ period to sort out any residency application errors.

The Commission was sympathetic to his plight but said it was down to Spain to sort out the matter, while the Ombudsman’s office did not find in his favour in his complaint against Valencian authorities.


Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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