SINCE the last local elections in which the foreign community played a large part in changing local governments’ poor record in making contact with non Spanish residents, many town halls have accepted that integration through communication is the only way forward.
No doubt with one eye on future elections, ‘Foreigners Offices’ have since then popped up all over the Marina Alta alongside town hall multi language web sites, free IT networks and foreign representation at local government level.
The latest town to join this rapidly expanding international club is the Marina Alta resort of Calpe. Mayor Cesar Sanchez recently announced that the Calpe Citizens Advice Bureau (OAC) will expand its language services, which previously has only been available in Castilian Spanish and Valencian, to include operatives who speak English, French, German and Dutch.
The service will be available from 9.00am to 1,00pm on Mondays and Wednesdays from the Tourist information Centre Rock, located at 44 Avenue of the Spanish Army, opposite Las Salinas.
Mayor Sanchez highlighted the choice of location as the building is shared with other administrative departments including the essential links of OAC and Tourism.
In announcing the opening of this new service, Cesar Sanchez said, ‘We want a town where all residents are made to feel like Calpinos, receiving equal treatment regardless of nationality.
An attitude we hope will be extended to visitors from around the world who pay us the great compliment of choosing Calpe to spend their vacations.’
The Valencia Regional Government revealed that an agreement was signed between three departments — Justice, Education and Tourism — and the British Embassy to strengthen the ties between the Valencian Community and Britain.
This was revealed after a meeting between Valencian Community President Alberto Fabra and British Ambassador Giles Paxman in Valencia.
More than 144,000 Britons reside in the Valencian Community that represents 37% of all Britons who reside in Spain.
By Benny Davis