CONFRIDES-L’ABDET town hall’s income was recently reduced by €200 a month.
Local mayor Ruben Pico decided to waive the €200 that pharmacist Jose Manuel Zaragoza pays each month to occupy municipally-owned premises.
The last council meeting approved the four-year agreement in a move that Pico trusts will ensure that the pharmacy can remain open.
“Losing essential services is a factor that has favoured the exodus of the young,” Pico said. “Farmacias are a symbol for villages.”
The Confrides-L’Abdet farmacia also helps, in a modest way, to create employment as Zaragoza also employs a part-time assistant from Confrides.
The two linked mountain villages in the Marina Baja have a combined population of 187, of whom roughly half are elderly. They would have problems going elsewhere for their medication, Pico pointed out.
“It is one of my obligations as mayor is to take necessary decisions,” he explained.
“If we don’t help each other, we run the risk of finding ourselves without residents,” Pico warned.
Jose Manuel Zaragoza makes the 45-minute journey to and from Confrides each day from his Altea home, highlighting the difficulties that threaten rural pharmacies.
“Most of us with pharmacies like these aren’t in it for business,” Zaragoza said, “but because of a vocation to serve.”
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